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The South African Art Times | February 2011 | Free


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Sculpture stolen from JAG

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The stolen 71cm sculpture General Lazare Hoche by French sculptor Jules Dalou Lucille Davie First published on Police and special investigators are tracking a valuable bronze sculpture of French soldier General Lazare Hoche, which has been stolen from the Joburg Art Gallery A valuable late 19th century bronze artwork has been stolen from the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG). The stolen 71cm sculpture General Lazare Hoche by French sculptor Jules DalouThe sculpture, entitled General Lazare Hoche, by French sculptor Jules Dalou, was stolen from the gallery on Wednesday, 12 January. “This is very sad,” says the chief curator of the gallery, Antoinette Murdoch. “I ask the public

to come forward with any information they may have.” Special investigators and the SAPS are actively working on retrieving the artwork, she adds. The sculpture is 71cm tall, and depicts Hoche, a French soldier who rose to the position of general, leading the French army into several European battles, according to Wikipedia. He died in 1797 and is remembered in a statue in the Palace of Versailles in Paris. The sculpture was created in preparation for a monument that was later erected in Brittany, France, according to the JAG. Other significant sculptures by Dalou include the 1889 Triumph of the Republic, and the 1885 Le Triomphe de Silène, both on display in parks in the French capital. “The loss of this beloved sculpture came as a shock to gallery staff. It is feared that the sculpture will be sold as scrap,” reads a press statement from the gallery. On the same day, a potential theft of two sculptures was averted at the Central Reference Library in the CBD. The library is closed for renovation at present. There have been several thefts from the gallery over the years. In 2004, A Normandy Beach, an 1863 canvas by Johann Barthold Jongkind, was stolen. In 2002, Apostle Thomas, an oil on canvas by El Greco, was pulled from its frame and stolen. It has not been recovered. Also in 2002, a sculpture entitled Suitcase by Kendell Geers disappeared but was later found in Joubert Park, alongside the gallery. In 1996, one of the figures of a bronze two-figure sculpture by David Brown went missing. It was found in a scrap yard in Cape Town and was restored and returned to the gallery. Murdoch says there are nine security staff at the gallery, but more staff will be employed. “Gallery staff and management are fully aware of the fact that the system is still lacking and are working incessantly on improvements.”

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Seen is believing in the art world Anthea Buys First published in The Mail & Guardian “To be taken seriously in the art world you have to live in at least two cities at one time,” a friend told me, half jokingly, ahead of her imminent relocation to Cape Town. A Serbian curator and artist who has lived in Beijing for some time, said she found it peculiar that so few South African artists have more than one address. There is an unsaid and endemic assumption in the art scenes that cluster around the global art centres of America and Europe that regular international travel is a prerequisite for artistic credibility and success. In South Africa travel in the name of artists’ residencies, exhibitions and art fairs is taken as a sign of success. Paradoxically, you’ve only arrived once you’ve left. By this standard, 2010 was a good year for young South African artists. Nandipha Mntambo and Conrad Botes participated in the 17th Biennale in Sydney in 2010, alongside the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Cao Fei and Steve McQueen, and their senior South African counterparts, Penny Siopis and Roger Ballen. Fresh from a master’s degree in fine art at New York’s Columbia University, Dineo Sheshee Bopape takes up a Fountainhead Artist’s Residency in Miami, Florida in March. Zanele Muholi, unscathed by her brush last year with South Africa’s former arts minister Lulu Xingwana, presented a body of photographic portraits titled Faces and Phases at the 29th São Paulo Biennale from September to December last year. Earlier in the year German publishing house Prestel published the same body of work in a book. Nicholas Hlobo One of last year’s most talked about achievers was Nicholas Hlobo, named the Rolex Visual Art Protégé for 2010-2011 in the company’s illustrious annual arts mentorship programme, an accolade that allows him to work for a year under the guidance of the critically acclaimed British artist Anish Kapoor. Soon afterwards he was short listed for the prestigious international Future Generation Art Prize and will hold a solo exhibition in Oslo later this year. After Hlobo was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in mid-2008, the artist told me that he hoped the award would enable him to become an “ambassador” for South African art. It may not have been the award that did it but Hlobo is, in some sense, an ambassador. In what he terms a “highly Anglicised” art world, he offers a view of South African art that breaks with aesthetic stereo­types about Africa. However, he sees his work as rooted in South Africa because of the close connection between the SA ART TIMES. February 2011

themes he works with and the isiXhosa language and culture. “Language has become my identity as a South African. South Africa is culturally very diverse and you cannot be too general when you talk about it,” he said. “You have to find a focal point and my ethnic background became my focal point. That’s where my plot begins.” While these are worthy accomplishments, one can’t help but notice that all the artists listed above, bar Ballen, are represented by the Cape Town-based dealer and gallerist Michael Stevenson. There is a widely and devoutly held view among young artists that careers are made and broken by one’s visibility or invisibility for Stevenson. Certainly he is good at recruiting and shaping young talent and has a powerful international network. But he is better than any other local commercial gallerist at promoting the international accomplishments of his artists. That’s just good business. But it should not be mistaken for an exhaustive indication of which artists are building an international profile. Well deserved Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter, neither of them tethered to a single gallery or dealer, spent the beginning of 2010 in New York City on a residency awarded by the Ampersand Foundation. Soon afterwards Lace found herself in Spain and the Canary Islands, cocurating the exhibition Reflex/Reflexion, which runs at the Johannesburg Art Gallery until January 25. James Webb, also without a gallery, spent more of last year away from his Cape Town apartment than in it, with exhibitions and projects in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Jordan, France, Italy and Germany. “The new map is not one of geography, it’s one of networks,” Webb quipped in a recent conversation about the apparent globalisation of the art world. For some deserving artists, global mobility is still far more difficult than for others. Burundian-born Serge Alain Nitegeka, a young artist living in Johannesburg, was chosen to participate in the 2010 Dakar Biennale, but was denied a visa to travel to Senegal to install his work. It is hard to escape the reality that ease of mobility follows the distribution of economic and political power. “I would like to believe that the art world is polycentric, but I don’t really think it’s the case,” said Webb. “We all really tend to invest our attention where the money and the media is. It is difficult to be truly independent.” Rolex Visual Art Protégé Nicholas Hlobo. Hlobo will hold a solo exhibition in Oslo later this year and hopes to become an ambassador for South African art. 07


Writing about art – is about the art of writing

Steve Kretzmann News that the Sunday Times was planning on cutting back their arts and entertainment page sent artists, arts lovers and arts writers into shivers of despair in September last year, fuelling the perception that coverage of the arts was being targeted for cutbacks across a number of publications. Voices were raised in cries ranging from concern to outrage, emails were sent out urging readers to complain and petitions were prepared. But whether due to public concern or for more prosaic reasons, the threatened cutbacks appear to have either not occurred or are less severe than initially feared. In fact a glance at the Sunday Times of January 23 revealed a relatively generous offering of arts coverage in that particular print publication. Beyond the dedicated arts and entertainment page, there were articles dealing with the arts to be found elsewhere in the paper’s Review section, in the form of an obituary on Jean Campbell, in Reader’s Views, and in a column by Lihle Z Mtshali. Then there were three articles on the visual arts in the Lifestyle section, including a double page spread on the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Although this is one newspaper and one Sunday out of 52 in a year it’s still not bad going for a newspaper that is believed to shouldering the arts off its pages. Lovers of the arts often point to the coverage the print media gives to sport as a comparison. But there are economic factors at play. Publications rely on advertisers to survive and the love of sport cuts across every LSM there is, whereas art lovers, on the whole, breathe the thinner air on that particular graph – or we like to think we do, poor artists and arts writers abound. Yet the perception that coverage of the arts in print is endangered is stubborn, and there is some truth in it. Those perceptions are somewhat undermined, however, when examined in context.

Frieda van Zyl – ‘Forever Young’

The print media, like every other sector, has been hit by the global recession. On top of that, they are fighting what is widely acknowledged as a losing battle against online publishing. In droves, readers are turning to the internet for information and circulation is in freefall. Why pay for content in a newspaper when you can get it online for free? The high cost of internet connectivity in South Africa means local print media have been spared the horrors that have befallen publications in the USA and Europe but unless we learn from their mistakes, it is only a matter of time before, to a greater or lesser degree, we follow in their footsteps. It could be argued that while the arts pages are under threat, so are the news pages, and opinion pages, and travel, and international news. The arts pages are not being singled out, they are merely succumbing to the pressures faced by the print industry. We also have to acknowledge that every print publication (including some of the oft-reviled tabloids) covers the arts. The Mail & Guardian’s Friday section is time and again mentioned as a good example of weekly anticipated national arts coverage that runs at an average of about 16 tabloid size pages. The Sunday Independent dedicates a broadsheet page to the arts, the Saturday and Sunday Argus have a 12 page tabloid-sized section, the Cape Times has a daily arts page. The new national daily The New Age has a daily arts and culture page. There are other regional daily and weekend newspapers in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape which could be added to the list. That is just newspapers, in the magazine rack there is this publication, the South African Art Times, which endeavours to not only provide a monthly mix of comment and opinion from three South African cities, but also includes news, reviews, profiles, interviews, auction results, obituaries and listings and provides a daily online feed of news relating to the visual arts. There are other monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly publications that could be mentioned.

Of course there is another world to explore in print’s nemesis, online publishing. There are a plethora of blogs written by very good writers, many of whom receive not a jot of money for their efforts but are driven to write by the same compulsion that makes painters paint. Perhaps globalisation has something to do with our apparent perception that arts writing in South Africa is under siege. We buy a copy of McSweeney’s and pore over it wishing that we could be reading multiple page features about the Johannesburg scene rather than the San Francisco or New York zeitgeist. We read the New Yorker online and then click onto the Sunday Tribune, or Mahala. What we forget is that this is not London, Tokyo or New York. What those cities don’t have is a society that ranks among the top ten most unequal in the world, or an unemployment rate of 25 percent or an illiteracy rate sitting at about 20 percent of all adults over 15. Or the fact that unlike Mexico and Brazil, the level of our 15-year-olds’ reading, maths and science abilities don’t even make it into the top 33 when measured against the countries of the world. That’s no reason not to want to compete on a global scale, to want a better and more vibrant ‘arts scene’ and the writing that befits it, but it does mean we should pause before whipping our own backs. It is a pleasant surprise that surveys conducted by the Sunday Times and the Mail & Guardian have let editors know that their readers want to read about the arts. But that doesn’t mean we should stop pushing for greater arts coverage. “It’s never enough,” says Johannesburg Art Gallery director Antoinette Murdoch, “especially compared to the number of pages given to sport for instance. It’s seriously lacking. “But we’re grateful for what we’ve got. We get publicised regularly… But I wouldn’t say we can’t complain.” (Continued on page 09)

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Murdoch was not talking only about coverage of exhibitions and artists featuring at the JAG, she spoke for all gallery owners when she said “every bit of space given to the arts is (indirect) marketing for us”. Mail & Guardian Friday section editor Matthew Krouse admits his much-loved pull-out has been cut back to 12 pages for the first quarter of this year, down from its usual 16, “while they raise revenue”. But he is optimistic revenue will be raised and the pullout will go back to its usual size, with the occasional bumper 24-page edition to surprise us still. BASA CEO Michelle Constant also believes there “could be more” coverage of the arts, especially “interrogative work and rigorous writing”. From her perspective of encouraging greater sponsorship of the arts by business, the less writing there is about art the less interest there is from business, but the converse also exists. Constant believes that the arts pages are sometimes the first to be cut by “some” editors and is grateful to those editors who do their best to preserve that does exist. Yet for editor of Arts South Africa Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, “The quality of arts journalism is a greater concern than the quantity”. Her opinion on the quality or arts writing was echoed by a number of gallery owners, artists, writers and editors, who on the whole believed there are good, even excellent writers, but the pool is small and many display a lack of depth in their coverage. When it comes to producing quality writing, journalists are caught in a two-pronged trap, those with full-time jobs in a newsroom do not have the luxury of focussing solely on the arts, never mind focussing on a particular discipline thereof. They have to juggle different genres and even different beats (bearing in mind the existence of any one ‘beat’ in today’s drastically pared down newsrooms is as rare as a teletype machine). Freelancers too, have to write about a lot more than the arts in order to make a living. And both are squeezed by editors who, when it comes to the arts, do not give space for anything other than reviews, previews and interviews. The well constructed feature dealing with ideas rather than an event has slim chance of being accepted by the majority of editors who have one eye on trying to capture the eyes of a new 140-character-at-a-time, sound bite obsessed generation, and the other on the balance sheet. While writers are not completely exonerated, a large portion of the blame for a lack of excellence in the field of arts journalism can be shouldered by gate-keeping editors who are more concerned about getting on the wrong side of the accounts department than about taking care of good writers. Additionally, writers in general are underpaid (sometimes severely so) and it is easy to lose enthusiasm for work that is undervalued. You get what you pay for. If you are undervalued for long enough, even getting your byline in the New Yorker no longer holds the thrall it would once have had. At the back of your mind you’re thinking that in the time you’ve spend compiling your one world-class article you SA ART TIMES. February 2011

could have earned twice as much by sending lesser pieces to less revered publications. Once you’re paying rent, the best editor is the one who pays the most. It’s a cynical view perhaps, and given the reducing circulation and advertising revenue in the print media it bodes ill not only for arts writing but for journalism in general. To some extent it is a view shared by Krouse, who said he leans toward believing the arts writer and editor should not act as publicity partner to the artistic community. “We are trying to make our business, writing about art, economically sustainable. It’s about whether or not we can get enough advertising.” The online community, however, inhabits the other side of that coin. Either despite or because there is no workable business model for blogs and websites, there are writers, and some good ones too, writing about the arts. And they have readers, most of them not enough to garner big advertising money perhaps, but they are there and reader comments are vociferous. “I think that there is a vibrant community of arts journalism growing in other media contexts - both online unpaid, but also online paid as in the online editions of newspapers, and in broadcast (from stations, and as podcasts),” says arts writer and trainer Gwen Ansell. Ansell appears to stand in the opposite corner to Krouse, being much more of an activist for the arts. “No really good journalist in any specialisation does the job simply as a meal-ticket. She is passionate about communicating something to the public - serving the public. As such, she’ll find a channel to do it.” And Ansell may be right in saying that just as painters will not stop painting and singers not stop singing, writers who appreciate the arts will not stop writing about it, or compiling web clips for that matter or distributing 50-word reviews on their cellphones or posting write ups on their Facebook page. Whether or not newspapers cut or increase the space dedicated to the arts, it is globally accepted that, if the newspaper does not die out completely, there will be a lot fewer of them in the future. But that does not mean the arts writer/commentator/critic will disappear with them. As Ansell states: “So long as the discourse is out there in some form, why does the medium matter?” We do have to accept that barring a few exceptions (SA Art Times being one of them in terms of doubling their circulation to 13 000 monthly this year) print media is in decline and until or unless online publishing becomes more viable as a means of making a living, being an arts writer isn’t an easy career option. There is no economic carrot that is going to improve the quality or quantity of writing on the arts. Perhaps the only way we can get to world-class levels is for writers to accept that they do it because they are driven by an inner compulsion, and concern themselves more with the excellence of their creation and less about catering to the market of editors. But then we’ll also have to accept that the pool of excellence might remain rather small. 09





Provocative Takes on Contemporary Culture at GIPCA’s Emerging Modernities The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) at the University of Cape Town is hosting the groundbreaking Emerging Modernities event, from 18 – 20 February 2011 on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town. “Emerging Modernities is a creative platform where academia and the arts meet in an interactive way to explore current conceptual issues surrounding the notions of redefining contemporary identities and art,” says GIPCA Director Jay Pather. “The event is structured in a unique way, in that it combines performances, installations and exhibitions with panel discussions. We want to give attendees an opportunity to observe some of South Africa’s cutting edge artists in action, and then also reflect critically on the experience, with its conceptual implications, with a panel of experts,” said Pather. The weekend long Emerging Modernities opens with an address by the highly respected Simon Njami, art critic, novelist, essayist and curator, of Cameroonian decent and currently residing in France. Mwenya Kabwe, Peter van Heerden, Andrew Putter, Nandipha Mntambo, Magnet Theatre and Sello Pesa are some of the contributors who will be showcasing their work, combined with panel discussions facilitated around issues relating to performing and creative arts disciplines, as well panels that deal with language, the city, and notions of tradition and curriculum design. Panelists include academics and cultural theorists

Crain Soudien (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UCT), Neo Lekgotla laga Ramoupi (Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria, Deborah Posel (Director: Institute for Humanities in Africa), Neo Muyanga and Ntone Edjabe (Pan African Space Station), Bettina Malcomess, Rael Salley, Gabi Ngcobo, Gavin Younge, Mark Fleishman and composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen. The topics addressed during the panel sessions will include “Emerging modernities and the contested curriculum in the post colony”, “Re-presenting the other, artistic collaboration and identity construction as process in the visual arts”, “Intercultural composition and Pan African re-emerging and merging in music”, and “Performance and the African city: multiple tongues; hybrid formations and translocations”. In addition to the sessions that critically reflect on existing bodies of work, the event will also host the première of a work composed by Wits University’s Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph and UCT’s Anri Herbst as part of a research project on indigenous knowledge systems, focussing on the preservation of Xhosa overtone singing. A concert will be held on Saturday evening featuring the Ngqoko Women’s Ensemble, showcasing their unique music style. The second half will comprise the Women’s ensemble with 13 instrumentalists, conducted by Alexander Fokkens, performing originally composed music by Zaidel-Rudolph, Christo Jankowitz and Kerryn Tracey.

The conference also hosts the première of Peter van Heerden and Anne Historical’s installation work Monument, which will take place at the Castle of Good Hope. Another site specific performance will be In House by Ntsoana Contemporary Dance, featuring Sello Pesa and other performers. Die Vreemdeling by Magnet Theatre, directed by Mark Fleishman, is also on the programme. The event includes an exhibition walkabout of In Context at the South African National Gallery, led by curator Liza Essers, director of the Goodman Gallery. Registration for Emerging Modernities is open to members of the public, and the fee for attending all the sessions and performances, is R350. This includes all lunches and teas, the opening cocktail function and transport to the various installation performances throughout the city. A subsidised student registration is available at R70. The event opens on Friday evening 18 February, and ends on Sunday 20 February. The full Emerging Modernities conference programme will be available online (www.gipca.uct. by the end of January. Early registration for the conference is now open, and can be done by contacting Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton on 021 480 7156, or by emailing

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Murder by Wilful Neglect • 66 x 53cm • Digital collage

Missing the Boat by Nicholas P. Hauser, Epsac Gallery, P.E. Missing the Boat touches on the indispensable qualities of failureas an engine for productivity and discovery. Physically, the work on show comprises of selected drawings, paintings, ceramics and digital collages produced between 1978 and 2011. The exhibition is also by default a collected statement on nostalgia, wishing for a temporary transportation to an earlier time - even if that happens to be twenty minutes ago. Stereotypical curators, using the language of the day, might label it a mid-career retrospective. Hauser defiantly maintains that he has no career. Nicholas Hauser (b.1958) has lived through at least two critical cycles which have rumoured that painting is dead and that there is no longer abundant merit in the two dimensional visual experience. “My feeling is that making marks on paper, clay or canvas is - beyond the obvious therapeutic, philosophical and spiritual benefits - the most fundamental way of making one’s presence and one’s opinions material in this performance we call life.” “My opinions, theories and interests have altered over the years and my output shows that. For many, the ouvre has been vilified as being too diversified (as if diversity were an indicator of the degree of commitment). But surely, inasmuch as a stoic adherence to for example ‘the landscape’ demonstrates evidence of a certain single-mindedness; so surely a diversity of scratchings, scribblings and stagings suggests an incurable propensity for curiosity?” Perhaps the title is appropriate given that Port Elizabeth’s first attraction was that of a harbour? “I arrived in Southern Africa by ship. We ‘came out

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

on the boat’ as it was colloquially referred to back then. One life was lost leaving Europe, but another significantly gained arriving in Africa.” “The boat was the medium, the means of transport, the vessel and the precarious symbol of transition. The boat possibly represents the semiconscious alpha-state between wakefulness and sleep.” If a life in Europe was meant to be the deliberate life, Hauser’s biography in Africa became the accidental journey, the temporary turned permanent. And like many dislocated children misguided by distracted, bewildered, uninformed adults (domestically, institutionally and nationally) he made sense of it by turning to the refuges of music, literature and art. “For the record, I proudly defy the canker of cliché by categorically stating that my work is, to my knowledge, in no important private or public collections, museums or galleries. I have neither entered nor won any international awards. I have no ambitions for my work to be acquiredt by any banks, mobile phone companies, autocrats, megalomaniacs or despots. Neither will I be flattered by academics or critics pontificating over my work.” “If people are drawn to what I make, let it be so. If my work transports anyone deeply or superficially for any length of time, then this is happy evidence of the imponderable mystery of image, mind and spirit colliding/ mingling.” To the viewer then, beware. MISSING THE BOAT opens Tuesday 1st February 2011 at the EPSAC Gallery, 36 Bird street, Central, Port Elizabeth.



Billy Monk in Johannesburg Deur Johan Myburg Beeld Brodie/Stevenson in Braamfontein in Johannesburg se eerste uitstalling vir 2011 bestaan uit twee dele – ’n versameling van 47 foto’s deur Billy Monk, Nightclub Photographs; en Bird’s Milk, ’n videowerk deur Dineo Seshee Bopape. Monk het in die 1960’s as uitsmyter by die Les Catacombs-klub in Kaapstad gewerk. Hy was ’n ontwykende mens en talle verhale het gevolglik omtrent dié man ontstaan. Met sy Pentax 35 mm-kamera het Monk die klubgangers afgeneem en ekstra geld verdien deur dié foto’s aan die poseerders te verkoop. Sy oogmerk was dus nie sosiale kommentaar nie. Monk het in 1969 opgehou foto’s neem en dit was eers tien jaar later dat sy werk in lêers êrens in ’n ateljee ontdek is. Jac de Villiers het die foto’s as Monk se werk geïdentifiseer en dit in 1982 vir die eerste keer in die Mark-galery in Johannesburg uitgestal. Monk kon nie die uitstalling bywoon nie – hy was besig om diamante te duik aan die kus by Port Nolloth. Twee weke ná die opening is hy doodgeskiet in ’n onderonsie oor die vervoer van meubels. Monk se onopgesmukte benadering en sy joviale verhouding met die mense wat hy in die nagklub afgeneem het, het hom in staat gestel om nie net die gees van die tyd vas te lê nie, maar ook die dekadensie, tragedie, menslikheid en uitgelatenheid van die klubgangers. Miskien is dit juis hierdie eienskappe wat Monk se foto’s ná soveel jaar nog steeds so aangrypend maak. Die Brodie/Stevenson-uitstalling bestaan uit foto’s wat in 1982 vertoon is, maar ook etlike foto’s wat nog nie voorheen uitgestal is nie. Bopape se Bird’s Milk is ’n eksperimentele video in die styl van haar speelse en oordadige installasiewerke. Bird’s Milk het as ’n liefdesbrief ontstaan wat die alledaagse gebeure tussen mense in ’n verhouding karteer. Toe die verhouding tot ’n einde kom, is die beeldmateriaal geredigeer en het herinnering ’n belangrike element geword. Bopape was in 2008 die wenner van die MTN New Contemporaries-prys en in 2009 was sy die enigste Suid-Afrikaner wat ingesluit is in die Younger Than Jesus-uitstalling in die New Museum in New York. Die twee uitstalling is tot 26 Februarie in Brodie/Stevenson te sien.


SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Bos - Resolution Gallery, Johannesburg Robyn Sassen First published in The Sunday Times Christo Doherty, 51, a professor of digital art at Wits is the kind of guy you feel you can say anything to. Perhaps it”s because after what he experienced in war, nothing shocks him. In Bos, his second solo exhibition at Resolution Gallery since 2009, he explores something which many white South African men of his generation have kept secret: the “80s border wars between South Africa and Namibia. “Bos refers to the bush, but also to bosbefok and bossies - mad, courtesy the army. The bush is an entity with agency. It”s also a landscape.” Doherty spent 13 months of his SADF service as an “18-turning-19-year-old straight from school” in combat. “This landscape was hostile, featureless white sand, as far as the eye could see.” In 2009, Doherty started playing with toys in his work. He used miniature figures to construct vignettes and photographed them, helped by staging professionals. Sweet, you may think. But these toys carry grown-up messages, too terrible to think about if they weren”t made with toys: “It”s about the miniature being used to explore massive things.” Some of the images are based on photos in the public domain; others draw from memory. “The South African government was successful at blanking out visual evidence of the bush war,” Doherty says, taking two pages of the Weekly

Mail from his bag. Articles are illustrated with bland maps and photos of tanks. “For me, it was as though after the war, I closed the door to my memories. Until now.” Doherty is not alone; several former conscripts, like photographer John Liebenberg and former boxer Granger Korff, are reflecting on it, 20 years later. “For all of us, it was surrounded by taboo. The army told not us to speak to civvies, but it was more than that” - he fumbles for words - “it was about shame and uncertainty. We didn”t return heroes. We never received debriefing, or post-traumatic stress therapy. “Today, it”s different. This exhibition is for those who went through this horror, but it”s also for the younger generation.” The exhibition is punctuated by photographs of young men, faces covered in the black grease used for camouflage, called Black is Beautiful. “I auditioned 19-year-olds (to model for the pictures),” explains Doherty. “As I briefed them for the shoot, I could see them shift to reflect this Lord of the Flies, Apocalypse Now mentality. Recruits of the “80s were not psychopathic racists. They were ordinary guys.” Looking at the photographs, you know they”re not real soldiers, but still you come away with a chilling sense of their vulnerable, suggestible youth. “Ten years later, this child,” he points to a toy figure in a photograph, “will be one of these men,” he leaps through construction and time, pointing to the faces reflecting bosbefokked army youth. “War must always be fought by the youth,” he adds, wistfully. (Top) Black is beautiful IV, (Below) Koevoet trophy

Alette Wessels Kunskamer Maroelana Centre, 27 Maroelana Street, Maroelana, Pretoria GPS S25º 46.748’ EO28º 1.5615’ OPEN Mon to Fri 09h00 - 16h00 Saturday 09h00 - 13h00 CECIL SKOTNES MOTHER AND CHILD OIL ON WOOD PANEL 122 X 90 CM

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

Tel (+27) 12 346-0728 / Fax (+27) 12 346-0729 Alette 082 652 6663

Gerrie 084 589 0711

A quality selection of SA masters and selected contemporary art


Presenting “Ivory & Ebony� an exhibition of Ardmore Ceramic Art At Cellars-Hohenort, Constantia

Friday 25th of February from 10.00am until 7.00pm Saturday 26th from 10.00am until 5.00pm and Sunday 27th from 10.00am until 2.00pm An entry fee of R50 will be charged, tea and scones will be included. Proceeds will go to The Ardmore Excellence Fund, benefitting the artists and their communities. | 033 234 4869


Jo Roos

From Vorster to Mandela, with nude studies in-between, Jo Roos refused to fit a mould

Steve Kretzmann The last year of Jo Roos’s life at 84-year-old was more eventful than many people decades younger could claim. He had no less than three exhibitions celebrating his art, was honoured by the Afrikaans language and cultural organisation ATKV for his work, attended the official unveiling of his statue of Sol Plaatjies at the University of the Northwest and went camping with his wife Dingi in Botswana and KwaZulu Natal to gather material for his acclaimed wildlife paintings. Then toward the end of last year, on October the 10th, he fell ill and was admitted to the Eugène Marais hospital in Pretoria where he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which led to an operation nine days later. A day before his operation, however, doctors allowed him to attend the ATKV ceremony where he was honoured as an internationally renowned South African sculptor and painter. Unfortunately, he was not to leave the hospital again, and died on the 54th anniversary of his marriage to Dingi, on December 21. Born on May 13, 1926, Roos revealed an unusual talent for sculpture early on. In Grade one at the Laerskool President Kruger, he handed in a clay sculpture of a tortoise as part of an arts assignment. It was so well made that his teacher refused to accept it was his work. He had to make another one in front of the flabbergasted teachers – using a small teaspoon as a shaping tool – for them to believe him. An Afrikaaner shaped by the strong cultural influences of his time, he sculpted a granite figure of Dr Verwoerd while an arts student at Pretoria Teachers Training College, which today stands in Orania. Using a variety of mediums, he immortalised a number of Afrikaaner heroes, including Paul Kruger, Totius, voortrekker leader Gerrit Maritz, John Vorster and JG Strydom. But whether or not immortalising these figures reflected his political views, he embraced a democratic South Africa and was the first sculptor in the world to complete a bronze bust of Nelson Mandela. It was unveiled by Mandela himself on September 23, 1994 in Polokwane. He also immortalised Thabo Mbeki and Sam Nujoma. After completing his studies, Jo worked as an arts teacher, first at primary school, then high school, and then as a lecturer at his Alma Mater, The Pretoria Teachers Training College, and was involved in developing the school arts curriculum for sculpture. He also worked in Italy and the USA, with his works represented in collections in the US, Europe and Australia. His most prominent international commission was an 8m x 3m bronze mural for the South African War Memorial in Delville Wood, France. In 1985 he and Dingi settled at De Wildt, where he set up his studio and continued sculpting and producing paintings of the wildlife he loved, establishing a successful studio gallery where Dingi intends to have a commemorative exhibition of his work on his birthday. Dingi, with whom he has twin sons and two daughters, said Jo was the best friend, soulmate and lover she could ever ask for. “He had a wonderful life, never a dull moment. He found life so interesting. He was a real gentleman and never talked badly about anyone and was very happy to see a good exhibition.”


SA ART TIMES. February 2011

Jean Campbell


1933 - 2011

including a still life of a crayfish and newspaper (he gave her some sketches in return). But she blames her subsequent failure in her third year at Michaelis on this connection – she was ‘victimised’ by individuals in the art world who were determined that ‘no Tretchikoff influence was to be allowed to exist in the South African art world’ – never mind that her work differed dramatically in style. It was a huge personal setback. Jean turned to advertising to make a living (she worked in South Africa and London), and something of a nomadic life began. In 1969, Jean agreed to become the legal guardian to a terminally ill friend’s daughter, and paying for the child’s care and education put her career on hold for a further 10 years. She had a creative detour teaching Zulu women how to make woollen rugs, then spent another few years taking a bogus art diploma course that was not recognised by the authorities. Finally, at 50-odd, she began studying at the University of Stellenbosch and obtained her degree. Janine Stephen Opinionated, headstrong and committed to the pleasures and vagaries of paint, artist and teacher Jean Campbell, who died in Onrus at the age of 77 on 5 January 2011, was no fan of art critics. Seeing many as interfering and uneducated, she took particular exception to those who savaged artists despite having no formal art training themselves. Also in her crosshairs was the art ‘establishment’, the gatekeepers of taste, whose approval or lack thereof could make or break careers. ‘Those who make up the establishment cannot see,’ she wrote caustically in her brief 2008 autobiography I Adore Red. In particular, it was the establishment’s ‘persecution’ of Vladimir Tretchikoff that cemented Campbell’s views – and influenced her own dealings with the art world. Jean Campbell was born in November 1933, to Jessica Campbell (formerly Michelson) and William Black Campbell. When Jean was just two, William had to leave his family in Cape Town and return to Scotland to help his own father, who was experiencing business problems. Jean was sent to boarding school from the age of five – an experience she believed initiated insecurities that were to plague her throughout her life. A bout of pneumonia saved her from further boarding for a time. She completed school in Cape Town, and at 17, entered UCT’s Michaelis School of Art. At the same time Jean’s mother arranged for her to have evening classes with their Sea Point neighbour – Tretchikoff, a glamorous new addition to the local art world. Jean got on well with him: he drew her portrait while playing poker with friends, and in later years she helped him paint some works, SA ART TIMES. February 2011

Gallery International owner Esther Kluk (formerly Rousso) was the first to give Campbell the opportunity for a solo show after Jean took lessons with her son-in-law, Andre van Zijl. ‘She was very, very keen on her art,’ Kluk says. ‘She used to take trips out to the country and paint her responses to the natural, rural farming areas.’ Karen McKerron, who showed Jean’s work in Johannesburg, noted that Campbell’s ‘abstract landscapes had that true South African sense – the traditional thing of the vastness of landscape, the strength of the mark. In a way she wasn’t frightened.’ She also painted portraits, was intrigued by water, and in her final years explored space and the universe.

Vladimir Tretchikoff : Portrait of Jean signed, inscribed “S.A” and dated 52 pastel on paper. Sold at Stephan Welz & Co.

occasionally felt persecuted and done down, and her engagements with gallerists and fellow artists could be fraught. One individual jokingly describes feeling a certain ‘dread’ whenever a letter in Jean’s handwriting arrived. Still, as Hill notes, she was a ‘pivotal’ figure. Besides painting, she taught numerous private students. She also published a number of art directories and magazines, which although biased towards advertising individual artists, provided information at a time when there was a dearth of art news.

Critical recognition, however, was elusive. ‘She was not strongly responded to and she became very despondent when she didn’t have a successful exhibition,’ Kluk remembers. Applause from the establishment was muted to non-existent, in part, perhaps, because landscapes aside, Campbell’s work did not offer intrinsically South African or political comment – and the early 1990s art world was extremely conscious of ‘relevance’. As Kluk wryly remarked, this saw Jean repeatedly ‘climbing the same slippery pole of struggling to “make it” as an artist’. Later on, Jean received a hurtful slap in the face when the South African National Gallery’s acquisitions committee turned down an offered painting.

Her later years were largely spent alone, although Val Hill believes she was married more than once, ‘possibly three times’ when younger. She had homes and studios in Fishhoek, Darling, Stanford and Onrus, and loved the company of her German Shepherds. And she kept rigorously painting, a perfectionist to the end. Hill recalls that five years after Jean had given her a painting as a birthday gift, she asked to make some changes – an area had been worrying her all that time.

This battle to be seen contributed to her volatile relationship with the art world. Good friend and art lecturer Val Hill believes Jean self-published her autobiography – paid for by selling her precious Tretchicoffs – not only to ensure a legacy, but because ‘she wanted to make a statement’. Friends and those who did business with her have tales of her ‘artistic temperament’, ‘determination’ and ‘uncompromising’ nature. Jean herself

Former head of fine art at Rhodes University, Robert Brookes, who has always defended Tretchikoff, tends to share some of Jean’s criticisms of the ‘art establishment, cognoscenti, sort of up-you-nose horrific people who don’t understand the meaning of taste and just trust what others say.’

In the last years of her life, she grew more frail but was still ‘observing, seeing, looking’, says Hill. She must have delighted in the softening of attitudes towards her old teacher, Tretchikoff.

Time will tell whether Jean Campbell herself will garner the recognition she yearned for. 17



Georgina Gratrix. Oil on canvas

Sibonelo Chiliza lithographs

Aloe Isaloensis, Hand printed lithograph, 62 x 50 cm. Edition 35.

The Artists’ Press Box 1236, White River, 1240 • Tel 013 751 3225 •

20 Art Times Sibonelo advert Feb. 21 1

SA ART TIMES. February 2011 20/1/11 16:28:48

Free State Bloemfontein Oliewenhuis Art Museum 03 Feruary-27 March, “Relaas..” by Rosemarie Marriott. (Main Buiding) Until 21 February, “Reconciliation by Women” oil on board by Father Frans Claerhout. (Annex Gallery) 16 Harry Smith Street, Bloemfontein. T.051 447 9609

Gauteng Johannesburg Artspace –Jhb 02-13 February, “A Verbis ad Verbera II – From Words to Blows II” photography by Richardt Strydom. 26 February-26 March, works by Ruhan Janse van Vuuren & Leon Fourie. 1 Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 880 8802 Bag Factory Until 15 February, “Alterating Conditions: Performing Performance Art in South Africa” 10 Mahlatini Street, Fordsburg, Jhb. T. 011 834 9181 Brodie/Stevenson 20 January - 18 February, “Nightclub Photographs” by Billy Monk; “Bird’s Milk” by Dineo Seshee Bopape. Exhibitions open on Thursday 20 January @ 6-8pm. 24 February-01 April, works by Mary Wafer and Jo Ractliffe. 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Jhb. T. 011 326 0034, CIRCA on Jellicoe 15 February- 09 March, “Part 1” sculpture by Dylan Lewis 2 Jellicoe Ave. T. 011 788 4805 David Brown Fine Art David Brown Fine Art has relocated to Nelson Mandela Square Sandton City. The new gallery is situated on the Square below the Michelangelo Hotel and next to Montego Bay Restaurant. From 10 February, A sale of works from the “Joburg Art Bank Collection” Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. T. 011 783 7805 David Krut Projects Until Early February 2011, “Collaborations II”, a solo exhibition by Deborah Bell. To accompany this exhibition, David Krut Publishing has produced Deborah Bell’s Alchemy; a publication dealing with the last ten years of Bell’s collaborative printmaking. 10 February- 19 March, “Bubble and Leak” large oil paintings and prints by Maja Maljević . Opening 10 February at 6:30pm. 140 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 447 0627 Everard Read Jhb 10 February-09 March, “Earth and Ink” by Thea Soggot. 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg. T. 011 788-4805

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

FREE STATE, GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA | GALLERY GUIDE Gallery 2 Until end February, a group show featuring Paul Blomkamp, Colbert Mashile, Bronwen Findlay, Jenny Stadler, Hermann Niebuhr, Phillemon Hlungwani , Grace Kotze, Karin Daymond, Regi Bardavid, Noria Mabaso and Carl Roberts. 140 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood. T. 011 447 0155/98 Gallery MOMO 03-28 February, “Sartorial Moments and the Nearness of Yesterday’’ by Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere. 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, Jhb. T. 011 327 3247 Gertrude Posel Gallery This gallery has a permanent exhibition of traditional southern, central and West African art. Address: University of the Witwatersrand, Senate House, Jorissen Street, Braamfontein. Tel: 011 717 1365 GoetheonMain Until 15 February, “Alterating Conditions: Performing Performance Art in South Africa” 05 February 2011, 2:00pm performance by Nelisiwe Xaba. 10 February-24 March, “New Adventures” by Jacques Coetzer. GoetheonMain, 245 Main Street, City & Suburban, Jhb. T. 011 442 3232 Goodman Gallery Until 12 February, Broomberg & Chanarin 163 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 788 1113 Goodman Gallery / Arts on Main 05 February-09 April, Fernando and Humberto Campana Corner Main and Berea Streets, Johannesburg T. 011 301 5706 Grahams Fine Art Gallery 24 February-27 March, “In Constant Pursuit: The Art of Spontaneity, Light and Colour” by Andre van Vuuren. Unit 46, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cnr Cedar and Valley Rds, Broadacres, Fourways, Jhb. T. 011 465 9192

Jozi Art:Lab Until 28 February, “Bitter Fruit - Bittervrugt” Susanne Schleyer / Michael J. Stephan: Photo and sound installation , Stephan Erasmus: Sculpture and book art. Arts on Main, cnr of Berea Street, 076 501 4291 Manor Gallery 28 January-22 February, “ArtBeat” a group multi-medium exhibition. Norscot Manor Centre, Penguin Drive. T. 011 465 7934 Market Photo Workshop 09 February-16 March, “In/Out” landscape photography by Swiss photographer Laurence Bonvin. Opening 09 February @ 6:30pm. Walkabout 16 February @ 1pm. 2 President Street, Newtown, Jhb. T. 011 834 1444 Museum Africa Until 28 February 2011, “l’Afrique: A Tribute to Maria Stein-Lessing and Leopold Spiegel” co-curated by Nessa Leibhammer and Natalie Knight. 121 Bree Str., Newtown, Jhb. T. 011 833 5624 Nirox Foundation Project Space (Arts on Main) 03-27 February, “Murder on 7th” by Gabrielle Goliath Arts on Main, Cnr of Main & Berea Street, Jhb. Resolution Gallery Until 12 March, BOS – Constructed Images and the Memory of the South African “Border War” by Christo Doherty 142 Jan Smuts Ave., Parkwood, Jhb. T. 011 880 4054 Russell Kaplan Auctioneers 05 February, Art Auction @ 1pm. Cnr Garden & Allan Roads, Bordeaux. T.011 789 7422 Seippel Gallery 06 February-10 April, Black and White Photography by Bonile Bam. Arts on Main, Cnr of Fox and Berea, Jhb. T. 011 401 1421

Grayscale Gallery 03 February-05 March, “Brand New Déjà Vu” by Kevin Love 33 De Korte St, Braamfontein. (above Signarama)

Standard Bank Gallery 02 February-09 April, “Super Boring” by Wayne Barker. Cnr of Simmonds & Frederick Str.’s, Jhb. T. 011 631 1889

16 Halifax Works by Michael Heyns can now also be viewed by appointment in Johannesburg at 16 Halifax Street Bryanston. Dana MacFarlane 082 784 6695

UJ Art Gallery 02 – 23 February, “Siliva Zulu” a photography exhibition by Lidio Cipriani accompanied by the screening of a silent movie with the same Title. Cnr Kingsway and University Rd, Auckland Park, Jhb. T. 011 559 2099

Johannesburg Art Gallery 20 February-17 April, “Waiting for God”, works by Tracey Rose. 12 February-28 August, “Looking as learning: art in the 2011 schools curriculum” Curated by Nontobeko Ntombela and Musha Neluheni to dovetail the current school curriculum. From the Renaissance to Impressionism, Cubism to Pop Art, Minimalism to Contemporary Art. A selection from the Johannesburg Art Gallery’s collection will present an extensive exhibition of International and South African artists focused on the current school curriculum. King George Str., Joubert Park, Johannesburg T. 011 725 3130

Send us your listings and images to: by 15th of each month



Pretoria Association of Arts Pretoria 12-26 February, work by Linky de Bruyn. The exhibition is opened by Berndt de Bruyn on Saturday 12 February @ 5:30pm for 6pm and runs until 26 February. The artist will conduct a walkabout on Saturday 19 February 2011 from 10:30am to 12pm and Saturday 26 February from 10:30am to 12pm. 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. T. 012 346 3100 Centurion Art Museum 02-25 February, “What we leave behind” photography by Neville Petersen. Opening 6 for 6:30pm on 02 February. c/o Cantonment and Unie Avenues, Lyttelton T. 012 671 7477 Fried Contemporary 9 February – 5 March , “Designs of time” Lithographs of Claudette Schreuders, Willem Boshoff, Diane Victor, Judith Mason, Johann Louw, San Nhlengethwa. This exhibition forms part of a series of exhibitions that will take place in the first semester of 2011: Designs of time, Designs of living, Designs of nature and Designs of self. The idea is to link the four exhibitions in terms of how individuals live and “design” their lives from within societies and how they operate in history, time and contexts. 16 march-16 April, “Designs of Living”, painting, sculpture and new media by Eric Duplan, Anne McLaren, Sello Mahlangu and Lucas Thobeyane. 430 Charles St, Brooklyn, Pretoria. T. 012 346 0158 Gallery Michael Heyns SSAMP_ArtT_Ad_136x93_ART[2].pdf 25 January, Gallery re-opens with newest works by Michael Heyns.

29 January-26 February, Crit sessions conducted by Mimi van der Merwe. Anyone who paints or draws is welcome to bring their work for discussion and advice from this experienced artist and art teacher. Call the gallery to book or for more information. 351 Lynnwood Road Menlo Park Pretoria. (next to Schweickerdt Art Shop) T.012 460 3698 C.082 451 5584

198 Long Street, Waterkloof, Pretoria. T. 012 460 5497.

Imaginarium Art Gallery at Lucit Restaurant 28 January-19 February, “[Works on] paper”, Paintings, drawings and etchings by Minette Zaaiman, Rika Meijer, Hetta Vontsteen-Pieterse, Mimi van der Merwe, Maryna Joubert & others Jennifer Snyman 082 451 5584 / Gideon van Eeden 083 306 2830


Pretoria Art Museum 02 February- April, “Photography 1950-2010” by acclaimed photographers such as Bonile Bam, Sam Nzima, Jodi Bieber, Alf Kumalo, Peter Magubane, Santu Mofokeng, Andrew Tshabangu and several Drum magazine photographers, will provide an insight into life in South Africa over the past 60 years. Albert Werth Hall T.012 344 1807/8 St Lorient Fashion and Art Gallery 26 February-10 March, “Nude: commoditizing (postValentine) budget nudes, Size Matters! Small! NB Small works - small prices” by Rupert de Beer * Andre Naude * Carl Jeppe * T. 012 4600284

Trent Gallery 15 February, 1/17/11Until9:07:58 PM “6 Tshwane artists” Roy Ndinisa, David Phoshoko, Eric Lubisi, Tladi Mokgokolo, George Setshedi and Joel Sebothoma.

Unisa Gallery 03-25 February, “TUT Fine Arts Degree Students” group exhibition. Opening 6 for 6:30pm on 03 February by Bongani Mkhonza . Curated by Phumelele Tshabalala. Main Campus, Theo Van Wijk Building B-block, 5th Floor T.012 429-6255/6823.

Dullstroom Dimitrov Art Gallery Ongoing, “Expression of freedom” by Branko Dimitrov Lifestyle Complex, shop no.4 on Cnr. Teding Van Berkhout & Hugenote/ Naledi Street, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. 9:00am to 4:00 Wednesday till Monday T. 013 254 5024 C. 082 679 5698

White River White River Gallery 05-26 February, “Weather and Wings” recent monoprints by Karin Daymond in collaboration with Artists Press. Casterbridge centre, R40 cnr Numbi gate rd and R 40 to Hazyveiw. White River. C.0825538919 The Loop Art Foundry & Sculpture Gallery Casterbridge Complex Corner R40 and Numbi Roads White River T. 013 751 2435

Exhibition by the UNISA Advanced Diploma Students in Visual Arts 29 January 2011 to 25 February 2011








Gopal Jayaraman ‘Hindus Adore’ (2010)


“Koi” Monotype, 70 x 70 cm

2-day printmaking workshop February 24/25, 9–3:30

Title: MONOTYPE “THE PAINTERS PRINTING METHOD” At: Sharon Sampson Studio, Illovo, Johannesburg. With: Top printmakers experienced in teaching students of all levels.

Unisa Art Gallery, Kgorong Building (New Entrance Building) Ground Floor, Main Campus, Preller Street, Pretoria, 0003 Email:, Tel: (012) 441-5683

For a workshop information sheet: Email: Call: 082 322 6752


SA ART TIMES. February 2011

Western Cape Cape Town Absolut Art Gallery Ongoing permanent exhibition with some of the best Masters and Contemporary artists. Namely : Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, Hugo Naude, Tinus De Jongh, Frans Oerder, Gerard Benghu, Adriaan Boshoff, Carl Buchner, Conrad Theys, to name but a few. Shop 43 Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, Carl Cronje Drive, Bellville, Cape Town. 021 914 2846 Alliance Française of Cape Town Until 05 February, “Lines of Spontaneity” by Aurore Pegon T. 021 423 5699 /A Word Of Art 25 January-11 February, “Body of Work” presented by Cape Town Tattoo Convention. An exhibition of customized hands and Tattoo inspired artwork Curated by Manuelle Grey (Wildfire.) Opening 25 January 6pm-9pm. 66 Albert rd, Woodstock Industrial Centre. T. 021 448 7889 Art b 2-23 February, “Kr!sp”, a group show of emerging artists and young graduates. The Arts Association of Bellville, The Library centre, Carel van Aswegan Street, Bellville. T. 021 918 2301 AVA 24 January-18 February, “A Space Between” by Dale Washkansky. To be opened by Siona O’Connell Doctoral Candidate at UCT researching a new imagining of the family archive’ “Notre Peau” by Maurice Mbikayi and “Imperial” by Neil Nieuwoudt. Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church Street, Cape Town. T.021 424 7436 Barnard Gallery Until 09 February, ‘In My Backyard’ by Willie Bester From 23 February, “Power Of Women in Art” featuring Lyndi Sales, Eris Silke and Pamela Stretton. 55 Main Street, Newlands. T. 021 671 1666 Blank Projects. 09 February-19 March, “Pogonology” by Malcolm Payne. Malcolm Payne presents a series of paintings premised on the aesthetics, history and significance of facial hair. This is Payne’s 18th solo exhibition. Opening Wednesday 09 February @ 6pm. 113-115 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T.072 1989 221 Cape Gallery 30th January 2011 – 19th February 2011, Recent work by Lesley Charnock, Jenny Parsons, Veronica Reid, Sheilagh Price, Anne-Marie Sloan and Frederike Stokhuyzen. 60 Church Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5309. Carmel Art Dealers in Fine art, exclusive distributers of Pieter van der Westhuizen etchings. Relocation of their Claremont and Constantia galleries

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

WESTERN CAPE | GALLERY GUIDE is now complete visit the new gallery at the Cape Quarter Square –Cape Town’s newest upmarket and trendy shopping mall where Leonard Schneider and Beila are available to assist you. Cape Quarter Square, 27 Somerset Road Green Point (on the first floor above the Piazza & restaurant level) T. 021 4213333 Casa Labia 08 February-27 March, “The long distance to familiar places” new work, paintings, monotypes and collage by Jill Trappler. Opening Tuesday February 8th @ 6.00 pm for 6.30pm with Opening speaker; Baylon Sandri. Africa Nova at Casa Labia Cultural Centre, 192 Main Rd, Muizenberg. T. 021 788 6067 Cedar Tree Gallery Until 06 February, Photography by Malcolm Dare. Opening 30 November @ 6pm. Rodwell House, Rodwell Road, St James, CT. T. 021 787 9880 David Krut Projects Cape Town During February, “O/O” works by Julian Opie and Chris Ofili. Montebello Design Centre, 31 Newlands Avenue, CT. T. 021 685 0676 The Donald Greig Bronze Foundry and Gallery Donald Greig is a specialized wildlife sculptor and his sculptures ranging in size from life-size to paperweights will be on display at the gallery. The foundry will do a bronze pour on most days and the entire ‘Lost Wax Casting Process’ can be viewed by the public through special glass windows. The Nautilus Building, No.14 West Quay Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. T. 021 418 4515 Erdmann Contemporary /Photographers Gallery 12 February-12 March, “Pony Express” an exhibition by well-known South African photographer Fiona MacPherson in collaboration with designers Shani Ahmed, Mark Day & Theo Kleynhans. Opening reception is Wednesday 16 February @ 6 pm 63 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town. T. 021 422 2762 Everard Read Gallery 10 February-02 March, “Biography of Material” by Angus Taylor. 3 Portswood Road, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. T. 021 418 4527

Until 19 February, “Sea breeze Salon 16”, Group show on both levels includes Jan Visser, Wim Blom, Sidney Goldblatt, Loyiso Mkiye, Felix Sithole, Acton de Bruyn, Tyrone Appollis and more in oil and acrylic. Ceramic by Guy Walter. 22 February -15 March, “Faces and Places” opening 6pm. Nicolas Truman-Baker shows new work in acrylic in the mezzanine gallery. 67G Regent Road, Sea Point. T. 021 434 5022 G2 Art 23 February-11 March, “The Sprawl” paintings by Andrew Sutherland. Opening 23 February @ 6pm-8pm. 61 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town. T.021 424 7169 Gill Allderman Gallery Continuous Exhibition, “Exhibition # 36” A Group exhibition featuring abstract art, graffiti, paintings, drawings. 278 on Main Road, Kenilworth. C. 083 556 2540 Gipa (UCT) 18-20 February,“Emerging Modernities” performances, installations and exhibitions with panel discussions. Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, University of Cape Town Hiddingh Campus, 31 - 37 Orange Street, Cape Town . T, 021 480 7156 Gold of Africa Barbier-Mueller Museum 2 February-31 March, “Threads of Africa: The Earth is Watching Us” bowls and bangles woven by talented weavers from the Thukela (Tugela) Valley in fine 18carat gold, silver, copper, brass and shakudo wire. 96 Strand Street, Cape Town T. 021 405 1540 Goodman Gallery, Cape 22 January-12 February, “Cumulus” by Gerhard Marx. 3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd., Woodstock. T. 021 462 7573/4, iArt Gallery 12 January-16 February, “After Baines” by John Walters. 23 February-23 March, “The Everlasting One” paintings by Matthew Hindley. 71 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 424 5150 iArt Gallery Wembley 26 January-23 February, “To skip the last step” by Beth Armstrong Wembley Square, Gardens, Cape Town. T. 021 424 5150

34 Fine Art 01 February-12 March, Limited Editions by Takashi Murakami. 2nd Floor The Hills Building Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Road Woodstock. T.021 461 1863 / Focus Contemporary During February, Continuous Group Show featuring collage work by Karin Miller, “Life Jackets” pencil and graphite drawings by Maya Marshak and monotypes by Christian Diedericks. 67 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 422 5996 The Framery Art Gallery

See: Infesting the city (overleaf) 23

GALLERY GUIDE | WESTERN CAPE Infecting the City (The Spier Public Arts Festival) 21-26 February, Infecting The City 2011, themed ‘Treasure’, will celebrate, re-imagine and burst open Cape Town’s - and more broadly South Africa’s – trove of diverse cultures, traditions and heritages in unexpectedly contagious ways. Its intent is to re-claim public space for the public and allow for an unusual way of interacting with their city. Presented by the Africa Centre, this out-of-the-ordinary public arts festival places provocative, innovative art in the communal spaces of the City’s Central Business District (CBD). Everything on the festival programme is free and accessible to everybody. Cape Town Station and City Centre. Infin Art Gallery A gallery of work by local artists. Wolfe Street, Chelsea Village, Wynberg. T. 021 761 2816 and Buitengracht Str. Cape Town. T. 021 423 2090 Irma Stern Gallery During the month of February Irma Stern’s works fill her former home, upstairs and downstairs as a tribute to renewed recognition of her creative genius both locally and abroad. Cecil Rd, Rosebank, CT. T. 021 685 5686 Iziko SA National Gallery Until 13 March 2011, “In Context” group exhibition of contemporary international and South African artists. Curated by Liza Essers. 06 November - 17 April 2011, “Boarding House” photographs by Roger Ballen. 27 November - April 2011, “Imagining Beauty” body adornment from Iziko collections and young SA designers. 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town T. 021 467 4660 Iziko Michaelis Collection Ongoing, Dutch treat: Dutch works from the 17th–20th centuries in Iziko collections Iziko Michaelis Collection, Old Town House, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town. T. 021 481 3800 Iziko Good Hope Gallery (The Castle) Ongoing, William Fehr Collection Buitenkant Street, opposite the Grand Parade, Cape Town. T. 21 464 1262 Iziko SA Museum Until September 2011, “Made in translation: Images from and of the Landscape.” 9 December to 13 March 2011, “Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 exhibition.” 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town T. 021 481 3800 João Ferreira Gallery Until 28 February, “Contemporary SA Collection” group show. 70 Loop Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 5403 Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery 29 January-19 February, “Forgotten Freedom Fighters”, an exhibition of oil paintings by Cobus van Bosch. In Fin Art Building, Upper Buitengracht Street, Cape Town. T. 021 423 6075. Kalk Bay Modern 18 February-11 March, “Seedbed”, paintings by Willemien de Villiers.


1st Floor, Olympia Buildings, 136 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. T.021 788 6571 Liebrecht Art Gallery 01 February-End March, “Introduction of some of the new Liebrecht Gallery Artists for 2011” Oil, acrylic & pastel by Lisl Barry, Sharle Matthews, Gill Maylam, Elaine Schraader, Neels Coetzee, Marittie de Villiers, Jeanne Hendriks, Jan Pentz, Tisa Mertz and Hazel Swart. 34 Oudehuis Street, Somerset West. T. 021 852 8030 C. 082 304 3859 Michael Stevenson Contemporary 20 January-26 February 2011, “All This” by Wim Botha and “Animal Farm” by Daniel Naude. Walkabout, Daniel Naudé will give a walkabout of his exhibition for the Friends of the South African National Gallery on Friday 21 January at 11am. Cost is R20 members and non-members; all are welcome. Ground Floor, Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, CT. T. 021 462 1500 Michaelis Gallery Until 12 February, “Masters Moving Out” five solo show by 2010 Michaelis Masters of Fine Art Graduates, Catherine Dickerson, Clair Jorgensen, Elgin Rust, Robyn Nesbitt and Ryna Cilliers. Lunchtime walkabout on 03 February @ 1pm. Each participating artist has uniquely packed an artwork into a suitcase, to be raffled @ Michaelis Gallery on 14 February @ 7pm. 32-37 Orange Street, Gardens, CT. T. 021 480 7170 Rococo From 27 January, “Confessions of a serial artist” by Philip Mans. 38 Buitenkant street, Cape Town T. 021 462 1348 Rose Korber Art Until end February, “19th Annual Art Salon” An exciting innovation this year will be the inclusion of a ‘Salon within a Salon’, presented by well-known Cape Town curator, Andrew Lamprecht, and entitled the Salon des Confuses. He will present a varied mix of younger, emerging artists, alongside some well-known names, but with a focus on the unusual, unexpected and surprising. 48 Sedgemoor Rd, Camps Bay, CT. T. 021 438 9152 Rust-en-Vrede Gallery From 25 January, “Alice in the Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass” by Dagmar Sissolak (Salon A and B); “The Human Presence” by Ilse Nieman (Salon C) 10 Wellington Rd, Durbanville. T.021 976 4691 Salon 91 18 January-19 February, “The Jacaranda Girls and Other Stories”, solo exhibition of oil painting, print and watercolour by Katrine Brink Claasens. 23 February-19 March, “Protect your roots” by Neill Wright. 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. T 021 424 6930. South Gallery Showcasing creativity from KwaZulu-Natal including Ardmore Ceramic Art. Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Ground Floor. T. 021 465 4672

finest gelatin silver prints. In the Company’s Garden, 88 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town. T. 021-465-1546 South African Print Gallery During February, “Painters who Print” group show featuring Robert Hodgins, Johann Louw, Judith Mason, Kim Berman, Deborah Bell, Penny Siopis and others. A wide selection of Fine Art Prints by South African Masters and contemporary printmakers. 109 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town. T. 021 462 6851 Stephan Welz & Co. 18-20 February, Pre-auction public viewing 22 and 23 February, Decorative and Fine Arts Auction. The Great Cellar , Alphen Hotel, Constantia. T. 021-794-6461 Wessel Snyman Creative 27 January - 12 February, A solo exhibition of oil paintings by Danny Shorkend. 17 Bree Street, Cape Town. T. 021 418 0980. What if the World… 29January-19 February, “Maybe Your Magic is Working” a solo exhibition by Daniella Mooney First floor, 208 Albert Rd, Woodstock, T. 021 448 1438 Worldart Gallery 26 February-12 March, “Concrete trails, urban tales” by Dave Robertson. 54 Church Street, Cape Town. T.021 423 3075


Galerie L’ Art A permanent exhibition of old masters. Shop no 3, The Ivy, Kruger Str., Franschhoek T. 021 876 2497 The Gallery at Grande Provence 16 January-16 February, Works by Henry Hopkins and Craig Muller; The Shop: Sally Arnold; Project RoomGeorge Hugo. Main Road, Franschoek. T. 021 876 8600. IS Art 14 February-15 March, Works by Angus Taylor and Jacqueline Crewe-Brown. Ilse Schermers Art Gallery at Le Quartier francais, 6 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek. T. 021 876 8443 www.

George Strydom Gallery Until end March, “George 42”, 42st Summer Exhibition of South African Art. 79 Market Street George. T. 044 874 4027

South African Jewish Museum Until 11 February, “Kith, Kin & Khaya”, South African Photographs by David Goldblatt. Over 100 of Goldblatt’s

SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Deon Viljoen & Co. making the new at Whatiftheworld Lloyd Pollak Despite its fatuous punning title, there is nothing routine or predictable about ‘Manet’s too tight to mention’. The show, the brainchild of furniture historian Deon Viljoen, provides a transformative experience, blowing away our mental cobwebs and enabling us to see art, craft and design with fresh eyes and enhanced understanding. The Cape Dutch house, its architecture, decoration and contents probably form South Africa’s single greatest contribution to the visual culture of the world, but as so few people in our museums and academic institutions have studied the applied arts, this vital aspect of our artistic heritage is scandalously neglected. Deon Viljoen’s impeccably researched publications have established him as our leading authority on the history of the Cape’s material culture. The field embraces not just Cape Dutch furniture and decorative arts, but also the occidental and oriental imports that made up the domestic fabric of our past. However this is incidental to this exhibition, for its subject is a brilliant imaginative examination of the interface between tradition and modernity. Deon reveals how contemporary artists find fresh ways of realizing the potential of traditional techniques and materials, exploiting them to transform the tried and trusted prototypes of chair, table, teapot and drinking glass into cutting edge art that reinvigorates tradition, and makes a twenty first century statement that that is new, original and exciting. Fine art too enters the picture. Pierre Fouche, for instance, uses needle and thread to create a riveting contemporary lace portrait that challenges accepted notions of sexuality and gender, transforming a hitherto purely decorative medium into an activist tool as confrontational as Jenny Holzer’s truisms. Deon foregrounds cabinet-makers whose consummate design and flawless craftsmanship transform their creations into sculpture. Patrick Schols creates his own personal medium of layer upon layer of thin strips of timber glued together. He then carves, gessoes and paints his hand-made plywood, turning shelf furniture into stripped down, minimalist works of art. His ‘Pumpkin’, a supremely elegant, delicately SA ART TIMES. February 2011

ribbed organic form with a fine chalky patina and a mellow ivory hue, looks like an ornamental plinth by Ruhlmann. However when you open its concealed door, it throws off its disguise, and reveals itself as a cocktail cabinet with a jazz-age orange interior, and a shelf system like the lobed compartments of a gourd, with a circular revolving platform providing ease of access to the bottles housed in its rear.

boldly striped Coromandel veneers on a grand antique Cape corner cabinet, and the Oriental blue and white which inspired Michael Chandler’s brilliant upholstery solution for the dining chairs adorned with embroidery appliqués based on the patterns seen in porcelain shards he found in a stream beneath Table Mountain where 18th century washerwomen plied their trade.

Schol’s ‘Golden Egg’ displays a similarly incisive silhouette, structural ingenuity and flair for metaphor, fantasy and surprise. This gilded hanging cupboard, forms a sleek, gleaming, golden oval worthy of Brancusi. Open the door, and you glimpse pigeonholes arranged as a geometric construction a la Ben Nicholson in pale oyster pink. The equivalent of the secret drawer in antique desks, this fairy tale piece was designed as a repository for intimate love-letters, diaries and other potentially compromising material.

Although Xandre Kriel’s pale green coffee tables inspired by cradles and rocking chairs, and Lyall Sprong’s seemingly frail, but indestructible, steel pier-tables are witty and inventive, Schols, Stegman, Jenkin and Fouche carry the day.

Gregor Jenkin’s tall, plank of a grandfather clock is bent, rather than straight, so it breaks free of the wall and insists on being seen in the round. Viewed from the front, it asserts a cenotaph-like presence as it rises into a downward-tilted face that stares at us like Father Time himself, making each tick and tock a stern reminder that time flies. The white display cabinet by Liam Mooney derives from the 17th baroque, ivory-veneered cabinetson-stand. Its doors, shaped as a diapered quilt, are a sleight of hand that lends obdurate wood, the softness of a counterpane. With its backlit interior, it serves as the perfect foil for Mooney’s sophisticated reinterpretation of ‘Gugulethu crystal’, a craft adapted from roadside vendors who cut the necks off beer bottles, invert them, block the hole, and turn them into drinking glasses. Mooney gives the discarded bottles a new lease of life, juxtaposing their cylindrical and conical shapes and contrasting their subtle greens and browns in functional and ornamental bottles, carafes, vases and decanters that distil the essence of chic. A few antique stinkwood dining chairs emerge from a mountain of packing cases as if they had just been delivered. The device divides up the space, while the cases’ austere beauty creates visual drama, and evokes the role of imports such as the exotic,

Frauke Stegman and Lyall Sprong, glimpsed the rich metaphoric possibilities inherent in the earthy browns, crusty surface and gritty, granular texture of loaves of bread. They renew the age-old German tradition of fashioning Xmas loaves and rolls into figurative sculpture, creating wicker baskets and woven headdresses that resemble unimaginably hoary and ancient archaeological relics. Their bread works and Stone Age teapot, are abstract forms redolent of smashed sea shells and rockery stones with craggy fissures, apertures, seams and creases that speak of subterranean geological events and the cycles of petrification, erosion and eventual disintegration. The inspiration for Pierre Fouche’s lace portrait of a handsome, bare-chested young man stems from a perfectly conventional holiday snap like those in millions of albums. However Pierre differentiates his handiwork from the original by digitalizing the photograph, magnifying its scale, and executing it in an intensely labour-intensive medium utterly alien to photography. Albums celebrate family unity and sexual conformism whereas the lace portrait unites homoerotic allure and the ordinariness of family photos, eroding the boundaries between so-called normality and abnormality and calling both into question. Both Justin Rhodes, Whatiftheworld’s director, and the gallery’s highly accomplished curator, Ashley, must be complimented for assisting Deon in mounting this exhibition which showcases a galaxy of exciting, new creative talents. 25


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‘Protect Your Roots’ | 23 February - 19 March 2011 A solo exhibition of print, painting & sculpture by Neill Wright

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SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Hermanus Abalone Gallery February/March, In the Main Gallery: A selection of works by Alta Botha (mixed media on wood), Christo Coetzee (oil on paper), John Clarke (pastel on paper), Hannes Harrs ( collages and sculpture), Elzaby Laubscher (mixed media on paper), Leonard Matsoso( pastel on paper), Fred Schimmel (mixed media on paper), Lynette ten Krooden( mixed media on canvas ). Annex: Photographic and graphic works by Lien Botha (photography), Titia Ballot (graphic media), Cecil Skotnes (woodcuts), Pippa Skotnes (etchings), El Loko (woodcuts) 2 Harbour Rd, The Courtyard, Hermanus. T. 028 313 2935 Bellini Gallery and Cappuccino Bar Until 6 February, “Life is a Stage”, ink on paper by Francois Mouton. From 7 February, “New Beginnings”, Works by Annette Barnard, Anna Barth, Ed Bredenkamp, Maeve Dewar, Annemarie du Plooy, Charlene Langguth, Elizabeth Miller-Vermeulen, Shannon Phillips, Alison Riordan, Vernon Swart, Louis Stroh van der Walt. 167 Main Road, Hermanus. T. 028 312 4988

Knysna Dale Elliott Art Gallery Garden Route and Knysna themed exhibition by Dale & Mel Elliott Woodmill Lane Shopping Centre, Knysna. T. 044 382 5646 Knysna Fine Art From 03 February, “Beyond the Garden” by Claude Jammet. Opening 03 February @ 6pm. Continuing through February, Costume Drawings by Peter Cazalet. Continuous exhibition, paintings by Leon Vermeulen. Knysna Fine Art has relocated to Thesen House, 6 Long St, Knysna. T. 044 382 5107 C. 082 5527262

Oudtshoorn Artkaroo Gallery 27 January-28 February, “Naked” a selection of nude studies by Janet Dixon, Ina Marx, Leonette Botha , Francois Tiran and Hendrick Gericke in various mediums-oils, acrylic, ink and charcoal. A selection of authentic Karoo fine art by various artists will also be on show,

107 Baron van Reede, Oudtshoorn. T. 044 279 1093

Paarl Hout Street Gallery Until 28 February 2011, “Annual Summer Salon.” this exhibition features an extensive range of paintings, ceramics and sculptures by more than thirty South African artists. 270 Main Street, Paarl. T. 021 872 5030

Piketberg (West Coast)

SMAC Art Gallery Until 27 February, New paintings by Johann Louw. De Wet Centre, Church Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3607 US Art Museum Until 14 February 2011, “Mother Nature. Art and Psychology in conversation.” A multi-media group exhibition. Curated by psychologist Elzan Frank. Walkabout and Talks: 02 February a@ 6pm, The myth of Demeter and Persephone– Alta Schoeman; 09 February @ 6pm, Icons – Daniël Louw. Talks R20 p.p 52 Ryneveld Street, University of Stellenbosch T. 021 808 3691/3/5

AntheA Delmotte Gallery From 11 February, “Generic yesterday, today and tomorrow” – an exhibition for an international biodiversity workshop. Opening Friday 11 February @ 7:30pm. Featuring oil paintings by Clare Menck, AntheA Delmotte, Madelein Marincowitz, Brahm van Zyl, Annelie Venter, Pieter Bruwer, Mary Duncan, Susan Kemp, Tereza Harling and eco-alchemical glass by Jeannette Unite. 47 Voortrekker Street, The Old Bioscope, Piketberg. 073 281 7273

Stellenbosch 101 Dorp Street Gallery Until 28 February, Drawings and paintings by Hannes Meiring. 101 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 3385 (extension 4 Art on 5 Permanent exhibition of paintings and ceramics by Maryna de Witt, Pera Schillings, and Karen Kieviet. 7b Andringa Str., Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 7234 Dorpstraat Galery 05-28 February, “Relation” an exhibition of sculptures by Kobus La Grange and paintings by Gabrielle Raaff. Opening 05 February @ 11am. 10 Oude Bank Church Street, Stellenbosch. T. 021 887 2256 Glen Carlou Estate On exhibition is The Hess Art Collection, including works by Deryck Healey, Ouattara Watts and Andy Goldsworthy. Simondium Rd, Klapmuts. T. 021 875 5314

The Gallery at Grande Provence 16 January-16 February, Works by Henry Hopkins and Craig Muller; The Shop: Sally Arnold; Project RoomGeorge Hugo. Main Road, Franschoek. T. 021 876 8600.

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MM GALLERIES – MUIZENBERG “ The home of African Art and Craft “

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SA ART TIMES. February 2011


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SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Eastern Cape East London Ann Bryant Gallery The Main Gallery 09-22 February, “Looking Back, Seeing Now” by Rose Warren. The Coach House Until 20 February, “Stigma a Contemporary Botanical Art exhibition” paintings, drawings, illuminated glass engravings and a stop motion video projection by Daniel Mooy. 9 St. Marks Rd, Southernwood, East London. T. 043 722 4044

Port Elizabeth Epsac Gallery Until 03 February, “Cut to the Bone” sculpture by Dorien du Toit. 02-12 February, “Missing the Boat” by Nicholas Hauser. 15-25 February, “Same Size, Same Price, No Signatures” an open group exhibition. 36 Bird Street, P.E. T. 041 585 3641 Montage Gallery Until end March, Group show, sculpture by Wehrner Lemmer, oil paintings and works in ink and watercolour on handmade paper by Alida Bothma, oil paintings by Leonè Spies and Rick Becker. 59 Main Road, Walmer, P.E. T. 041 581 2893 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Permanent exhibition, “Art in Mind” Until 06 February 2011, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum Biennial Exhibition and Award 2010.

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

18 December - 18 March 2011, “Faces and Places” An exhibition of paintings, photographs, prints and ceramics from the Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. 1 Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. T. 041 506 2000 Ron Belling Art Gallery From 15 February, “Evanescence “, a solo exhibition by Amita Makan. Opening address by H.E. Mr. Virendra Gupta, High Commissioner of India @ 6pm on 15 February. 30 Park Drive, P.E. T. 041 586 3973

Kwa Zulu Natal Durban The African Art Centre Durban 20 January-13 February, “On Paper” a range of paperbased media including, etchings, drawings, paintings, lithographs and linocuts representing a variety of techniques and media by both celebrated and highly skilled emerging artists. 23 February-11 March, “25 x 25”, selected artists from Durban will exhibit paintings on canvas 25 x 25 cm. 94 Florida, Durban. T. 31 312 3804/5 ArtSPACE Durban 24 Jan – 12 Feb, “Works 2006 - 2010” paintings by Petros Ghebrehiwot; “The Art of the Construction Site” photographs by Julie Mayo. 14 February-05 March, “Shooting Southern Africa” - Photography Group Show 01-04 March, Collection at the gallery for the ABSA L’Atelier Art Competition 3 Millar Road, Stamford Hill, Durban. T.031 312 0793 DUT Art Gallery 03-27 February, “The DUT Permanent Collection Revisited” 1st Floor Library building, Steve Biko Campus, Durban University of Technology. Nathi 031 373 2207 KZNSA Gallery 25 Jan –19 Feb: “The Bold and The Beautiful: Annual Member’s Exhibition” 166 Bulwer Rd., Glenwood. T. 031 2023686

Margate Margate Art Museum Museums art collection on display. Margate Civic Centre, Dan Pienaar Square, Vikings Road Margate. T.039 312 8392 C.072 316 8094

Pietermaritzburg The Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery 09 February- 13 March, Colourful African Landscapes by Nicolette van Rensberg. The Blue Caterpillar art gallery at Butterflies for Africa 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 387 1356 or Tatham Art Gallery 20 January-15 May, “Art and Politics” group show. (Schreiner Gallery) Cnr of Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Rd. and Church Str. (Opposite City Hall) Pietermaritzburg. T. 033 342 1804


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The False Bay coast of Simon’s Town, Red Hill, Clovelly, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg and St James is a haven for hundreds of dynamic artists who draw inspiration from the Cape’s beauty and light. Jenny Altschuler recently photographed a few artists and inspirations.

Malcolm Payne in his studio hard at work on his forthcoming solo at Blank Projects in Woodstock 09 February-19 March entitled: “Pogonology” where presents a series of paintings premised on the aesthetics, history and significance of facial hair. see for more. SA ART TIMES. February 2011



Internationally acclaimed artist Malcolm Payne on the balcony of his ‘clean studio’ at his home in Kalk Bay, Simonstown and mountains in the distance.

Left: Payne with ‘Beard’, a painting he has been working on towards his upcoming exhibition in February at Blank Projects, (See February Gallery listings) an independent artist-run project space in Woodstock. He has developed a particular paint for his own use, for its pure pigment constitution. Payne is very careful in preserving the artwork and has a ‘clean’ studio which is well ventilated and as well as a ‘working ‘studio. 36

SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Cameo of Nic Bladen in the Olympia Bakery building, Kalk Bay, opposite the harbour. Bladen had just moved his studio to the 1st floor from a smaller set up just up the road where he had worked for a number of years

Bladen has his own forge in Kalk Bay where he casts for his own smaller sculptures and those of other sculptors. The larger works are created at The Bronze Age Foundry in Simonstown where he lives.

SA ART TIMES. February 2011



Left: Internationally accomplished artist Gail Catlin in her lounge in Kalk Bay with her painting entitled: Wild Wolf. Above and below: Catlin working in her studio in Kalk Bay. She has been the first artist to specialize in the application of the liquid chrystal paint medium which responds to changing intensities of temperature and light. Catlin spent time installing huge liquid chrystal artworks for her debut at the museum of the Kaust University in the Middle East for its 2010 exhibition.


SA ART TIMES. February 2011


The walkway along the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay is completely hidden from the road as it lies between the railway line and the brink of the sea. Although well trodden by the ‘inwoners’ and those that know it is there, the path seems uninvaded by Sunday and holiday crowds..

The Kalk Bay harbour, Dusk in Spring SA ART TIMES. February 2011



Top and middle left: New York in Kalk Bay. Tribeca Bakery named for it’s textured wall paper murals of Manhattan’s most fashionable and desirable neighborhoods. Bottom Left: Nic Baden in the mirror with buyers at his home showroom in Clovelly. 40

(Top) Young girl at Surfer’s corner (Middle) ‘We have the best Prices’. Muizenberg Main Rd, (Below) Young skateboarder, Car Guard playing soccer and surfer gets ready to change into dry clothing, Muizenberg SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Top left: Veteran amateur scultptor/painter Effie Joffe at home in Fish Hoek with her ‘family’. Top Right: Tuesdays sees Joffe as a regular at the Kalk Bay life drawing group. She has been creating artwork for over 50 years the highlight of which was an installation of 12 murals in Joburg before recently relocating to Cape Town.

Above: Mosaic Portrait, Knead Bakery, Muizenberg. Bottom left: Window Scene, Knead Bakery. Bottom right. Spring 2010, Muizenberg Beach. SA ART TIMES. February 2011



View of the early morning mist on Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg at the False Bay coast of the Indian Ocean.

Exhibitions such as this show of circular works by Herman Niebuhr, showcase from 5 to 8 weeks in the Casa Labia’s Galleria in Muizenberg, which affords exhibitors wonderful coastal light and is open to submissions all year round. However, it is in moments like these that one wonders about the balance of fascination between the windows of art and the windows of life. 42

SA ART TIMES. February 2011


The blue Dining room of the Casa Labia with Portrait of Counts Natale and Joseph Labia by Edward Roworth.

Painter Cathy Layzell perchance wears a scarf of roses on the day we visit the Casa Labia together. I am fascinated at the parallels between her aura and that of the allegorical Portrait of a young Woman as Flora by Louis Toque hanging in the ballroom. Cathy’s paintings have just been featured in the Casa Labia in Bloom, the 2010 Summer group exhibition at the Galleria upstairs. SA ART TIMES. February 2011




Top left: Veteran collage artist, Peter Clarke, takes some inspiration from studying the work of historic artists. Right: Washing Line, one of his earliest collages from 1976, has never been sold. Clarke brings it out at my request in a split second from his well organized portfolio at home in Ocean View False Bay. Bottom Left: Well known veteran artists, Alice Goldin and Muizenberg artist, Lionel Davis share a seat at the Greatmore Exhibition at Irma Stern Gallery in Rosebank, in which Davis took part. Bottom: Davis and Clarke both live in the False Bay region, getting together often with Davis’s wife to frequent gallery openings and exhibition visits during weekends. Here they sit chatting at the door of the Casa Labia after dismounting their work on exhibition in Portraits of Artists in the Galleria.

SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Ros Molteno Light, space and tranquility “I am fortunate to live in Cape Town and am constantly entranced and inspired by the light, landscape and sheer vibrancy of this city. The light here is similar to the clear, bright light of southern France, which so inspired the Impressionists. I enjoy portraying the stunningly beautiful South African landscape, particularly the beaches and lagoon scenes of the Cape. An image of a large vista which combines light, space and beauty will resonate in the human psyche, satisfying a fundamental human need for landscape and the ‘wildness’ held within it. My paintings express my emotional response to the natural world and I am delighted when a painting elicits a similar response in the viewer.

Photo: Jenny Altschuler

Colour, shape and mood can combine to create a visual focal point for meditation, while an abstract landscape provides an image which may be completed in the realms of the viewer’s imagination.”

Sunlit stream. Oil on canvas

Rocks at Kleinmond. Oil on canvas

Lagoon. Oil on canvas

Blue landscape. Acrylic on canvas

Lagoon scene. Oil on canvas

Seascape. Oil on canvas

Into abstraction. Oil on canvas

“I am intrigued by the concept that each painting is a self-portrait, fully reecting the artist’s conscious and subconscious state of being. As painting is generally a solitary occupation, self-reection and self-expression go hand-in-hand while experimentation and playfulness are given free rein. Artists can benet from a playful approach to life itself. To quote Picasso, “It takes a long time to become young”. One of the highlights of my life was a residency at the Cité Internationale des Artes in Paris, during 2009. I was able to indulge my passion for art and photography while enjoying the many art museums and the stimulating cultural life of the city.” cell: 072 1587548

The old jetty. Oil on canvas

Ros Molteno Photography “Photography allows me to express the beauty and grace in the simplest of things, to quickly capture the play of natural light before the moment is lost. It allows for creativity when I am not at my easel and demands a spontaneous reaction in situations where people, birds, animals or light are ‘on the move’. In my series ‘Women’s work - all that remains’ I composed the images while waiting for natural light to create strong highlights and shadows.” Exhibited in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Annual Vuleka Art Competition and Exhibition, Art B Gallery, Bellville, Cape.

Evening, Tsitsikamma

Morning light

Distorted reections. Picasso Museum, Paris

Designer menu, Paris

Women’s work – All that remains A tribute to women through the ages

“There’s very little tangible evidence of the heavy work done by women throughout the ages, as they tended hearth and home. During a recent trip through the Karoo, I photographed many discarded and rusting domestic utensils and implements, including enamel cups, dishes, kettles, bowls, ladles, pots and pans, zinc buckets, baths, basins, watering cans, old treadle sewing machines, wringers, atirons, milk cans, Dover stoves, lanterns, candlesticks and three-legged cooking pots. The metal objects depicted in this series symbolise the ephemeral quality, as well as the lasting value, of the domestic chores performed by women. Made from metals which are mined from the earth and smelted by re, the discarded domestic objects left to rust in the open air are slowly disintegrating and returning to the earth.”

heart \ hearth \ earth

The Rough, 4m x 1.6m – 1 of 3 painted for Ernie Els’ Restaurant, The Big Easy

As long as there has been expressions of art, artists have attempted to find new and more truthful ways to express their world. Donna McKellar continues to challenge herself to find this more truthful expression of her world through her painting. Her art has traditionally been described, by herself, as Romantic Realism, but recently she has found that a dramatic change in her life has pushed her to a more post modern expression of a fragmented reality, where there are different dimensions of truth, views, perception and understanding. These can be competing with each other, supporting each other or purely existing side-by-side, where neither is right or wrong and it’s this complexity she is now exploring in her paintings. She has moved from painting a romantic idea of life; peaceful, simple and serene with perfect lighting, to now exploring fragmentation, complexity and change, a world where one can experience an imperfect and fragmented moment with multiple realities, but yet it’s in that very world where we can be happy and fruitful, where we can find peace. Her very realistic signature style is still evident in her work, but another dimension of layering and fragmenting of sections of the work have emerged in a sometimes deep, sometimes dark and sometimes playful expression of emotion. Adding these dimensions to her work has added new explorations of subject matter to Donna’s long time love and favourite, the Karoo and we can now see lighthouses, Tankers and far off Piers making their mark on her body of work. Her paintings are in essence, an adventure and an expression of her life experience and she loves that her life is something that constantly changes and refuses to sit for its portrait. Donna is a partner with Margie and Richard Schultz in the opening of the Junction Art Gallery in Dainfern Gallery, Johannesburg, which opened its doors on 22 January 2011. The gallery will showcase emerging and established South African and International artists. Past curator of the Pretoria Art Museum, Marc Alexander, will work side by side with this team as they establish themselves as a leading and provocative gallery, making an impact on the South African art scene.

Brighton Pier 2.5m x 1.5m oil on canvas

+27 83 778 2737

Pniel garage 70cm x 70cm oil on canvas

Tanker 2.5m x 90cm oil on canvas

The Centre of Everything 1.8m x 1.8m oil on canvas

Woodstock 50cm x 50cm oil on canvas

Riviersonderend 1.6m x 1.6m oil on canvas

Caledon Windmill 1.6m x 1.6m oil on canvas

Kalk Bay Light house 1.5m x 90cm oil on canvas

Karoo 2m x 3m A very large oil on canvas


On top of the world: Giles Peppiatt, Bonham’s SA specialist, takes last minute calls from prospective sellers for Bonham’s March 23 sale of SA art in London. Photo: Jenny Altschuler


Career spanning collection of Irma Stern pictures at next Bonham’s South African sale Since Bonham’s doubled the world record for an Irma Stern at R26.6M a huge interest has developed by the international art market for South African Masters. Giles Peppiatt, Director of South African Art, comments: “You could say that the world record beating sale last year which achieved a price of R26.6m for Stern’s `Bahora Girl’, is having its effect. We are now seeing some of the very best work by this artist, coming in for sale. For Stern collectors this sale also offers works from the full breadth of her career which makes the sale more than usually interesting.” Among the Stern paintings being offered at Bonhams March saleinclude: * Irma Stern (1894-1966), ‘Arab Priest’, (right) signed and dated ‘Irma Stern / 1945’, oil on canvas. Like the recent world record picture `Bahora Girl’, this image is also in its original Zanzibar frame. Estimate, £1,500,000-2,000,000. *Irma Stern, `Arab figures’, 1951, gouache, estimate, £80,000-120,000. * Irma Stern, `Still life of irises’, oil on canvas, estimate, £700,000-1,000,000. For further information please contact Julian Roup on 0207 468 8259 or / See also: Africa.

‘Swazi Youth’ , oil on canvas, estimate, £600,000-900,000. `Portrait of a Malay child’, oil estimate, £700,000-1,000,000


‘Pondo Mother and Child’, signed and dated ‘Irma Stern 1941,oil on canvas, estimate, £200,000-300,000. This picture was acquired from the Grosvenor Gallery exhibition by the current owner. It was exhibited in London’s Grosvenor Gallery, Irma Stern Memorial Exhibition, 14 March - 15 April 1967. SA ART TIMES. February 2011


Giles Peppiatt By Michael Coulson Visiting SA to make final arrangements for London auctioneer Bonham’s March 23 sale of SA art, the firm’s SA specialist, Giles Peppiatt, is confident it can extend the success of its previous sale, last October. This was not only the highest-grossing sale of SA art anywhere in 2010 (despite claims to the contrary by our own Strauss & Co), it also set the staggering artist record of R26.6m for Irma Stern’s Bahora Girl, almost double the previous high. Peppiatt recalls his first sale of SA art in May 2006, of about 160 works including just one Stern, a few Gerald Sekotos (some dating to before his departure from SA in 1947), and a “nice” Pieter Wenning. While he always thought that a market in SA art could be developed in London, he admits he never expected Bonhams’ sales to have the impact they’ve had. He cites a number of factors in favour of London. Not least, unsurprisingly, is the SA disapora, which influences both the supply and demand sides. On the supply side, many emigrants, noting the prices that have been achieved, have decided to cash in, and it’s uneconomic, mainly for tax reasons, for them to send works to SA for sale. On the demand side, émigrés like to buy art that reminds them of “home”, though he says he also didn’t expect the strength of demand from non-SA buyers. At the October sale, while it’s impossible to be exact, he reckons sales were split roughly 50-50 between SA and non-SA buyers. Peppiatt concedes that the diaspora effect could be temporary, as future generations’ ties with SA weaken, but doesn’t expect this to happen for some time. And he finds the growth of non-SA buyers “interesting”, though at the moment it’s largely confined to Stern, who’s rated an important artist in her own right, regardless of origin. Contrary to rumours that it will be repatriated, he believes Bahora Girl will stay in London. He says there were five major bidders for Bahora Girl between £1m-£2m, including two from north America, but the buyer was London-based. He remembers ruefully that when he first saw the work he put an estimate of only £600 000-£900 000 on it, and even then worried that he’d been too optimistic. SA ART TIMES. February 2011

Photo: Jenny Altschuler He believes that the international broadening of interest in SA art has fundamentally changed the market in the past 10-15 years and that local auctioneers, who still argue that the best market for SA art is its country of origin, have failed to adapt to this. As is well known, it’s not only the market for SA art that’s booming. Last northern autumn’s sales by all major houses showed strong advances across all categories. Peppiatt points out that with returns on cash less than 1%, it’s attractive to switch from cash into hard assets of all kinds – including works of art. I asked him whether trends are similar for other ex-colonial countries. The market for Canadian art, he says, is strong – but only in Canada. Much the same is true in Australia, and Bonhams sends any Australian art for sale to its branch there. The closest equivalent to SA, he says, is Israel, where the Jewish diaspora has created a worldwide market for Israeli and Judaic art. In March, Bonhams is not holding a sale of minor work at its lesser, Knightsbridge rooms on the eve of the main sale in New Bond St, in part because it couldn’t be fitted into the calendar. Some works will be held over for the October sale, which will be split in the conventional way. However, the West End sale will be split in two. Bonhams recently put out a press release detailing eight of the Sterns that will be on offer, with estimates varying from £80 000-£120 000 (a gouache) to £1.5m-£2, for Arab Priest, dated 1945 and, like Bahora Girl, still in its original Zanzibari frame. Some of these and other major works have been taken out of the afternoon sale and will sell in a session of SA Masterpieces that evening. At present this is slated to contain just 16 lots, but another couple are being considered. Peppiatt says this session will have its own catalogue, which he promises will contain high-powered critical articles. The afternoon sale will comprise about 130 lots. At this preliminary stage Peppiatt estimates that the two together could gross £7m-£8m – which would top the October gross. Meanwhile, Arab Priest (which for years hung on loan at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town) is being shown in London and New York on a temporary export licence – a slightly uncommon procedure, but Peppiatt says “We didn’t even bother to apply for a permanent export licence for this one.” The reactions it elicits will be an important indicator of just how international the market for SA art is becoming. 55


Art to get its own “stock exchange” Firm will sell shares in works held by participating galleries By Roxana Azimi and Anny Shaw First Published in The Art Newspaper PARIS. As the notion of art as an asset gains momentum again, the first stock exchange for art—on which clients can buy shares in works from galleries—is due to launch in Paris “in the next few days” according to its website. Based on a stock market model, Art Exchange will offer collectors the chance jointly to own works of art with shares available from between €10 and €100. Participating galleries are currently selling works valued at €100,000 or more, although the exchange intends to lower this figure once the company is established. “Given that we are doing something new, we had to create confidence and credibility in the investor and this is done through having high-class art works,” said Caroline Mat­thews, the director of operations at Art Exchange. Matthews also hopes the calibre of works available will encourage naysayers to invest through the exchange. “For some people, mixing fine art and finance goes against their principles, but perhaps they will see things differently in the future,” she said. In return for a 5% commission, the exchange has the exclusive right to sell shares in a work over a period of three to six months, but if it does not sell 20% of shares within six months, the gallery recu-

perates what has already been sold and retains the work of art. If one collector amasses 80% of shares in a work, they have the option to buy it outright and remove the work from the exchange. Currently around half-a-dozen Parisian galleries are participating, but Matthews also wants to enter the US, UK and Chinese markets. The exchange is initially offering six works—about which it is very secretive—but these include a Mike Kelley installation valued at $1m offered by Galerie Hussenot, a work by Sol LeWitt—Irregular Form, 1998—from Yvon Lambert and a large sculpture by Richard Texier offered directly by the artist. Galleries can opt to keep the works while they are on the exchange, provided they agree to exhibit them, or Art Exchange can take charge of the works with the intention of loaning them to other institutions for display. The exchange also wants to open a gallery within six to nine months. Art Exchange says it will be completely transparent, with potential investors able to watch the price of shares fluctuate at It is aimed at a number of different in­vestors, according to co-founder Pierre Naquin: “We are targeting clients who are used to investing in Sicavs [collective investment schemes] or blue-chip stocks, people who are looking for tax exemptions [in France works of art are exempt from the solidarity tax on wealth], as well as banks and funds who seek to

invest large sums in a variety of different assets,” he says. But the question remains as to why a gallery would use an intermediary exchange when it can directly sell works without difficulty. “This may sound Utopian but we’re hoping to inspire people to become collectors,” says Olivier Belot, the director of Yvon Lambert gallery. “We’ve opted to be involved only where the works are owned by the gallery, which is more respectful towards the artists. We’re not involving them in any risk.” Naquin suggests the exchange will bring a new and much-needed type of collector out of the woodwork. “Galleries can test the system with very little risk,” he says. “By providing a considerably more stable public index for each work [compared with auctions], the exchange is also a much easier way for galleries to justify the price of their art.” Patrick Bourne, the managing director of the Fine Art Society in London, remains sceptical, although he admitted that the investment potential of art can’t be ignored. “I think it’s a stinker. But, while we don’t like the idea of looking at art as an investment, as prices get higher people have to think about it,” he says. “But financial investment is only a part of it, there has to be some sort of emotional investment as well. We like to get works into proper collections for the right reasons.”

Gallery giants tighten their grip Competition forces smaller dealers to play the branding game—or find alternative models By Melanie Gerlis | From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition, 4 Dec 10 MIAMI. The rise and rise of the mega-gallery—intent on creating a global brand—has never been more obvious than this week at Art Basel Miami Beach. The fair’s floorplan is something of a blueprint for the increasingly hierarchical market, with the best spots in the convention centre given over to dealers such as Barbara Gladstone (H13), David Zwirner (J19), Gagosian Gallery (J13), Pace (C10) and, at the oceanfront entrance, Hauser & Wirth (K17). “The market now concentrates on the bigger and the bolder. It isn’t just about multiple cities but also multiple sites in the same cities,” says dealer Thaddaeus Ropac (C11), who this year opened a second, larger, space in Salzburg and is soon to do the same in Paris. At the extreme end of this increasingly competitive environment is the Gagosian Gallery, due to open its 11th space in its eighth city (Hong Kong) early next year. The gallery’s rapid expansion seems to play to today’s cash-rich but time-poor collectors. (Gagosian is rumoured to have sold seven works within the opening hour of the fair on Wednesday.) Other galleries have to play the same game—assuming they can afford to—or are forced to rethink their business models. So how did art galleries become such big busi56

ness? For those who believe that art belongs in the luxury goods market, the shift towards big-brand commercialism has been inevitable for some time. Look at the events around South Beach this week: LVMH, Fendi, Absolut and Cartier are all firms who know how to generate success from global marketing. This trend suits buying habits in some of the newer geographic pockets of wealth, many of which are temples to international brands. The retail analogy is repeated by many dealers. “I would rather be a haute-couture house than a luxury goods provider,” says Xavier Hufkens (C13), who has had one space in Brussels for over 20 years. Adam Sheffer at New York’s Cheim & Read (K8), rumoured to be opening a second space in LA, says: “Some artists prefer a boutique environment, others Walmart.” Another important driver has been the shift to contemporary art over the past ten years. “The growth of physical space to show art has primarily happened because of the growth of contemporary art,” says Iwan Wirth of Hauser & Wirth, another of this week’s success stories. It recently opened a 15,000 sq. ft second space in London, in addition to galleries in New York and Zurich. “Artists don’t want to wait another two years for a show,” Ropac says. “If we can’t offer them one straight away, someone else will.” The stakes are also higher now that dealers are facing intense competition from the big-brand auction houses, who regularly host more curated selling exhibitions: “They are opening spaces all

over the world, so why shouldn’t the galleries?” says Sheffer. “We’re all on the same team.” One gallery with an alternative business model is Arndt (B24). Owner Matthias Arndt was in four countries in 2005 (with three spaces in Berlin alone) but now has just one exhibition space, in Berlin. He says that refocusing his business on to a smaller scale has enabled him to “do what I want to do—be a primary market gallerist, rather than spending time meeting with tax advisers in three different countries”. Hufkens also emphasises the importance of faceto-face contact: “It’s about having one space, one person to talk to, one person a collector or artist can meet with—that’s the only way you can really follow what happens to your work.” Galleries also need money to expand. Arndt estimates that a gallery would need a turnover of about $100m a year to have five international spaces outside its HQ. Despite such overheads, the mega-dealers seem to have the upper hand in terms of winning clients, artists and staff from smaller rivals. However, Wirth believes there is a trickle-down effect: “It’s not just that the big are getting bigger, galleries who had two people now have five, those that wouldn’t have opened, now open,” he says. “If Gagosian and Pace can afford to expose their artists to a broader audience then more power to them,” says Sheffer. But he adds: “Since when was Walmart good news for small grocers?” SA ART TIMES. February 2011

The South African Sale Wednesday 23 March 2011, 2pm New Bond Street, London Enquiries Giles Peppiatt +44 (0) 20 7468 8355 Hannah O’Leary +44 (0) 20 7468 8213

Catalogue +44 (0) 1666 502 200 Illustrated Alexis Preller (1911-1975) ‘Large Red Choros’ Estimate: £50,000 - 80,000

Bonhams 101 New Bond Street London W1S 1SR


Irma Stern: The Lemon Pickers signed and dated 1928. oil on canvas. 100 by 95cm Estimate: R10 000 000 - R14 000 000

Irma Stern: Still Life with Delphiniums. signed and dated 1938. oil on canvas laid down Estimate: R10 000 000 – 12 000 000

Collectors spoilt for choice at Strauss & Co’s Cape Town auction in March While Irma Stern still holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a South African painting on home soil, achieved when her Gladioli sold for R13 368 000 at Strauss & Co’s October 2010 auction, two paintings are competing for the top honours at Strauss & Co’s March 2011 auction. Stern’s Lemon Pickers (R10 000 000 – 15 000 000) is one of her the most exciting paintings to come to the market in recent years. Not only is it of exceptional quality but it is a very early work painted in 1928 that confirms Stern as a unique and pioneering artist amongst her peers. The painting effectively describes Stern’s vision of an idyllic and unspoilt paradise. An oft-quoted remark by her – “I fled from burning Europe into a land of strong colours” – illuminates the passions that drove her. Like Paul Gauguin she sought a fantastic and exotic alternative to conventional European culture. By contrast, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s Extensive Landscape Northern Transvaal (R10 000 000 – 15 000 000) bears all the hallmarks of his mature style. This typical bushveld scene near Polokwane in Limpopo Province is transformed through the artist’s unique vision. A panoramic view highlights the soaring heights of the blue sky and the phenomenal breadth of the landscape with impressive splendour, accentuating the enduring aspects of nature despite seasonal changes. Two paintings of Delphiniums allow for a comparison of Irma Stern’s handling of similar subjects in diverse media. While the earlier gouache (R900 000 – 1 200 000) employs pastel tonalities to achieve tranquil effects, the oil painting (R10 000 000 – 12 000 000) produced four years later emphasises the strong contrasts of complementary colours in a composition that is energised with vitality and drama.


Stern was at the height of her powers when she painted Still Life with Camellias (R3 000 000 – 4 000 000) in 1940, Still Life of Roses and Apples (R7 000 000 – 9 000 000) in 1944 and Grand Canal, Venice (R4 000 000 – 6 000 000) in 1948. As the late Professor Neville Dubow maintained in his monograph on the artist: The point is simply this: in the period between the First and Second World Wars, Irma Stern’s work achieved a peak of excellence that could stand comparison with representational paintings anywhere else in the West. ... judged purely by the yardstick of dynamic painting – perceptual and sensual, rather than conceptual and intellectual, sheer picture-making, in fact – one could claim international stature for her work of the 1940s. Nationally ... there was no one to touch her in terms of her impact on the local scene. Pieter Wenning’s Claremont, CP (R800 000 – 1 200 000) and Keerom Street, Cape Town (R700 000 – 900 000) provide us with two complementary views of early Cape Town: one of the typically rustic suburbs and the other of a modern city in the early twentieth century while Maggie Laubser’s Oestyd (R400 000 – 600 000) creates a pastoral idyll of landscape and rural workers evocative of the Malmesbury area where she grew up. Alexis Preller’s Gold Kouros (R1 800 000 – 2 200 000) is infused with his love of Greek culture and of the perfect male form, calling to mind the timelessness of antiquity. In The Patio, Nerja (R600 000 – 900 00) Stanley Pinker captures the pleasurable experience of this Spanish coastal resort with the sensuous elegance typical of many French artists like Matisse. Freida Lock’s legendary Bohemian lifestyle and her love of exotic objects are brought to life with typical flare in Two Coffee Pots (R700

000 – 1 000 000), evoking Syrian traditions of brewing and serving cardamom coffee. As Walter Battiss proclaimed “The freshness of all Freida Lock’s still life paintings has brought about a new appreciation of this art in South Africa”. Christo Coetzee’s Et in Arcadia Ego (R120 000 – 160 000) celebrates Poussin’s famous painting, the rose windows of Notre Dame and the cycles of life while evoking the retro-chic Paris of the fifties and sixties. William Kentridge’s drawings (R180 000 – 240 000 and R180 000 – 220 000), related to the film Stereoscope, suggest free-floating associations and assert what the artist has called “a sense of both contradictory and complementary parallel parts of oneself”. South African photographers continue to achieve international acclaim and yet are seldom collected here with sufficient seriousness. Now collectors can choose from a Goldblatt hand print from his In Boksburg essay (R70 000 – 90 000), a Zwelethu Mthethwa from his Sugar Cane series (R50 000 – 70 000), a Mikhael Subotzky from his Beaufort West series (R40 000 – 60 000) or a pair of Andrew Putter’s stunning still lifes from the Hottentots Holland: Flora Capensis series (R25 000 – 35 000 each). AUCTION : Monday 7 March 2011 PREVIEW : From Friday 4 March to Sunday 6 March from 10am to 5pm WALKABOUTS : Stephan Welz and Emma Bedford Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March at 11am CONTACT NUMBERS 021 683 6560 / mobile 078 044 8185 Catalogues are available and can be purchased online or from our offices.

SA ART TIMES. February 2011

South African Masterpieces Wednesday 23 March 2011, 6pm New Bond Street, London Bonhams are delighted to present a special evening sale of an exclusive selection of the finest South African masterpieces to come to market in recent memory. The sale highlights the best works by South Africa’s greatest painters, including Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef and Maggie Laubser.

Enquiries Giles Peppiatt +44 (0) 20 7468 8355 Hannah O’Leary +44 (0) 20 7468 8213 Catalogue +44 (0) 1666 502 200

Illustrated Irma Stern (1894-1966) ‘Arab Priest’ within original Zanzibar frame Estimate: £1,500,000 - 2,000,000 Bonhams 101 New Bond Street London W1S 1SR


(Top left) Irma Stern: The Zulu Woman, Oil on canvas, 58 x 48cm, R 16 000 000 - R 20 000 000 (Top right) William Joseph Kentridge: Dutch Iris, Drypoint with 2 aquatint plates in 14 colours, plate size: 108 x 59cm,R 150 000 - R 200 000 (Below left) Jacob Hendrik Pierneef: Legogote, Oos Transvaal, Oil on board, 45 x 55.5 cm, R 2 500 000 - R 3 000 000 (Below right) Keith Alexander: Otavi II, Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 80cm, R 400 000 - R 500 000

Stephan Welz & Co. February sale Stephan Welz & Company, will be holding their first Decorative and Fine Arts Auction of the 2011 calendar year on the 22 and 23 of February 2011 at their auction premises at The Great Cellar housed on the Alphen Hotel grounds in Constantia. Headlining this auction is the Grande Dame of the South African art world, Irma Stern. Her exquisite 1935 portrait titled Zulu Woman is estimated to fetch R16 000 000 – 20 000 000. This striking work demonstrates Stern’s ability to balance colour and light in a firmly non-traditional manner. The intense lime greens and yellows of the background serve to highlight the warm tones in the sitter’s face- all the colours are of equally strong tonal strengths. This is further complimented by the cool pinks of her shawl.

JH Pierneef, master of the South African landscape, is strongly represented by a painting titled Legogote, Oos Transvaal (Granite Hill, Eastern Transvaal). Painted in 1944, this painting bears the hallmarks of Pierneef’s mature work: the focal point is centred on an imposing natural subject such as a tree, cloud formation or mountain. The rhythmical structure and controlled colour palette work together to form a unified whole and the viewer is drawn past the bushveld trees to the distinctive and monumental granite hill in the background.

Pre-auction public viewing will take place from Friday the 18 through to Sunday the 20. Viewing is free of charge and open to the public. For further enquiries and details regarding the catalogue please contact 021-794-6461 or view

Other highlights of the sale include works by Pieter Wenning, Walter Battiss, Anton van Wouw, Pieter Hugo Naude, Keith Alexander and Maud Sumner. There is also a full complement of decorative arts available including highly desirable and collectable pieces of Scandinavian furniture.


SA ART TIMES. February 2011


This Space for Rent’: In Europe, Arts Now Must Woo Commerce Sign of the times? An Yves Saint Laurent perfume ad on the side of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. By Doreen Carvajal First published: New York Times Europe’s Museums Face Financial Squeeze The Palace of Versailles is preparing plans for two hotels on its sprawling grounds. One will turn a crumbling 17th-century treasury building into a luxury preserve of $950-a-night suites painted in Marie Antoinette’s favorite pastels: dusky rose and blue. And at the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, shiny new Dany electric cars were parked last month on both sides of the marble altar of peace commissioned by the Roman emperor Augustus after an Italian businessman paid nearly $110,000 for a sponsorship. European museums are reeling from culture shock these days. Long reliant on government subsidies, they avoided the layoffs, salary cuts and ticket increases that struck American museums hard in 2009 when the endowments upon which they depend plunged with the financial crisis. But now European arts institutions are facing a squeeze too: government subsidies are falling and corporate donations have dwindled as the economic crisis spreads. The combination is forcing even the grandest museums to seek new revenue sources. Some of the money-raising strategies are rather declassé for bastions of high culture, to the consternation of some in the arts world. In the Netherlands, the government will reduce arts spending by 20 percent — $269 million — over the next four years. The culture ministry has said that visitor head counts will be a factor in determining which institutions get money. In Madrid, the Reina Sofia Museum of National Art is getting a price break on utility bills in exchange for publicity for electric companies. Major museums are raising ticket prices and reducing staff, prompting employee unions to warn that museum hours may have to be reduced as cutbacks set in. The Louvre, the most visited museum in the world with more then 8.5 million visitors annually, raised ticket prices to $13.50 from about $12.80 this year and is evaluating proposals, among them licensing its name to the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Breguet. Such aggressive commercial measures once made curators uneasy, said Catherine Sueur, deputy general administrator for the Louvre. “They were used to subsidies,” she said. “Today the psychology has changed.” The Louvre’s state subsidy shrank from 75 percent of its budget in 2001 to just over half of SA ART TIMES. February 2011

its $340 million budget last year. A new 5 percent cut is looming for almost 500 French cultural institutions. Critics of the hat-in-hand approach have been quieter lately, although there are still flashes of resistance. Many object particularly to the huge advertisements. Ads along the Doge’s Palace in Venice provoked an international petition drive in the summer, supported by prominent architects and some museum directors in Britain and the United States who contended, “They hit you in the eye and ruin your experience of one of the beautiful creations.” Upkeep of centuries-old buildings is an enormous drain for European institutions like the Château de Versailles, which is developing hotels and seeking to license its name for luxury watches and other products. Last month it opened an online boutique with offerings including a gold-and-ivory porcelain Marie Antoinette soup tureen and “Let Them Eat Cake” coconut candles. Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of the Château de Versailles, said: “All of the money is invested in renovation, restoration, acquisitions and the organization of exhibitions. The result of our search for new resources is not to earn more money for money’s sake. It is to invest in our heritage, which is an enormous, costly responsibility.” Museums are also raising money by sending masterworks on global tours. World-class institutions like the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum in New York used to swap paintings at no cost but now charge fees and prospect more aggressively for alliances with foreign museums. Some French institutions have sent out traveling exhibitions, essentially renting entire shows to eager regional museums in the United States and Asia — risking, some curators warn, wear and tear on masterpieces. The Pompidou Center, which earned $1.9 million from traveling exhibitions last year, hopes to double that in 2012. The Musée d’Orsay sent Impressionist works on a three-year tour to San Francisco, Madrid and Nashville (where the tour is now), a trip it expects to yield more than $13 million. “It’s a way to finance our reconstruction,” said Amélie Hardivillier, a spokeswoman for the Musée d’Orsay. Jean-Michel Tobelem, director of the French research institution Option Culture, said the itinerant circuit for fine art posed thorny questions about sharing masterpieces only with rich museums. “There is a risk,” he said, “that one day state authorities will say to museums, We are cutting your subsidies because you can rent your artworks or you can even can sell your artworks” to raise additional revenue.

And so the open-air advertising proliferates. It’s one way to fill the gap, however jarring it may be on a picture-postcard skyline. In Paris, besides the Chanel ad, giant posters touting Yves Saint Laurent perfume, Ralph Lauren, Air France and H&M clothing have appeared in the last few months on the facades of the Musée d’Orsay and the Palais Garnier opera house. But the museums insist there are limits. “We refused a bottle of Coca-Cola,” Ms. Hardivillier of the Orsay said, declining to reveal the fees paid by advertisers. “The flacon of Chanel is beautiful because it is made in three dimensions and moves with the wind.”

Danish town secures public bronze sculptures with alarms Safety improved after reports of thefts in neighbouring town, possibly owing to rise in price of bronze By Clemens Bomsdorf Copenhagen. A Danish municipality is to secure its public bronze sculptures with motion sensor alarms and global positioning systems (GPS) after reports of thefts of works in the neighbouring town, possibly owing to a rise in the price of bronze. Gribskov, which lies 50km north of Copenhagen and has a population of 41,000, is planning to secure seven sculptures at a cost of around €1,300 per work. “The combination of these two measures should decrease the likelihood of theft substantially,” Henrik Olsen, the risk manager for Gribskov, told The Art Newspaper. “If someone tries to remove a work, a central alarm will immediately be triggered and thanks to GPS the works can be tracked.” So far Gribskov is the only municipality to adopt such security measures, although Olsen said other law enforcers had been in contact over the proposals. Gribskov itself has not been subject to thefts, but the neighbouring town of Helsingor has. Most of the sculptures that will be secured are installed outside public buildings such as the train station or library, while some stand in parks. “Running away from these spots is relatively easy,” said Olsen. Several other, less accessible, bronze sculptures were not deemed at risk and will not be rigged with alarms.



The Book of the Dead, British Museum, London By Nushin Elahi Around 3000 years ago, the Ancient Egyptians spent their whole lives, and much of their fortunes, planning for their journey through the afterlife. Navigating an endless number of fearful beasts and deities, guardians of the gates, they could enlist these creatures as their protectors, provided they had the right spells to hand. Once they had traversed this dangerous labyrinth, they could then take their place in a realm of beauty, surrounded by reeds and populated by the gods. But should their heart weigh more than a feather, should the baboonheaded god decide against them, then a beast with the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion and the rump of a hippopotamus would tear them to pieces instantly. What might inspire an adventure computer game today was an eternal reality for the Ancient Egyptian. His obsession with the netherworld is the subject of a spectacular exhibition at the British Museum. The Book of the Dead is a vast display of artefacts from the museum’s extensive collection. The wealth of material makes this an exhibition for scholars and laymen alike. Artefacts range in size from enormous sarcophagi to delicate inlaid objects. Chief amongst these is the final exhibit – the longest Book of the Dead ever recorded, on public display for the first time. At 37 metres, the Greenfield Papyrus encircles half of the elegant curve of the Reading Room, now the regular exhibition space at the museum. From one end you cannot see the other. Along the way are the familiar images seen on the journey you trace through the exhibition. This is a collection that demands an intensive viewing, but rewards you richly. It is the repetition of images that makes it such a remarkable show. On huge wooden sarcophagi, on papyrus, linen, and even leather, in beaten gold and carved in enormous stone slabs, the same images keep appearing, telling a story that varied little over the thousands of years it covers. The writing may change between hieroglyphics and hieratic, the script of daily life, but the images don’t. You begin to recognise the Devourer without reading the caption, to look for the ba, or spirit, hovering above the body, or Osiris at the scales of judgement. The book of the dead was a book of spells that the wealthy would commission to be buried with themselves and hope to have on hand when they faced the dangers ahead. Most of these were written on fragile papyrus rolls, which is why they are not on permanent display. Some have little ornamentation, except perhaps a red outline around the spells, written in columns which look like bookkeeping. Others are lavishly embossed with gold and coloured paintings of the gods and the person on his journey in the afterlife. In each, one is aware of a scribe, painting with a precise hand, but infusing his art with his own unique touch, because despite their sameness, each is different. Perhaps an owl has eyes drawn in, the cat cutting the snake looks particularly smug, or as one Egyptologist pointed out to me, the headdress on the gods carries a frill of fur that indicated the sarcophagus was of Libyan origin. The actual artistry is often overshadowed by the grandeur of Ancient Egypt, but here you can enjoy the tiny hieroglyphics perfectly incised in stone, or the beautiful folds of drapery carved in limestone. At times an image makes you smile because it looks like something from a Pac-man game, like the cloth-covered figure with only its feet sticking out, or Osiris as a pillar with crossed arms. The curators are at pains to depict how these papyri were created, showing the scribes’ tools, highlighting key scenes that recur and even displaying a standardised book where the name is a blank waiting to be filled in. There are comic scenes of animals playing senet, the game of the kings, and intriguing background detail on the books displayed, such as one commissioned by a highranking female official who ordered a contract killing. The two final exhibits, both from Thebes, are the most complete and impressive. It is worth pacing yourself to have enough focus to study them properly. As steward to the king, Hunefer’s book is not as long as the Greenfield, but more colourfully illustrated with scenes such as the Weighing of the Heart or the Opening of the Mouth ritual. The Greenfield Papyrus, created for the daughter of a high priest, Nesitanebisheru, has the largest number of spells and although it seems stark after the rich tones of Hunefer’s, it offers a most satisfying catalogue of all the images of the afterlife. This is a truly compelling collection and one which shouldn’t be missed. Book of the Dead is on show at the British Museum in London until 6 March 2011. Forthcoming exhibitions are treasures from Afghanistan (March to July) and sacred medieval treasures (June to October). SA ART TIMES. February 2011


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SA Art Times February 2011  

Art, South Africa

SA Art Times February 2011  

Art, South Africa